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Parthenogenesis

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 Context: Researchers genetically modified the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly, typically a sexually reproducing species, to reproduce asexually.

  • They identified 44 genes in another fruit fly species, Drosophila mercatorum, responsible for parthenogenesis and modified the D. melanogaster genome to express these genes, resulting in 4% of eggs being parthenogenetic.

This breakthrough could influence pest control strategies by releasing males sterilized by irradiation or edited genomes to reduce progeny numbers, although it may inadvertently select for facultatively parthenogenetic individuals, limiting long-term effectiveness.

Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction where an embryo develops from an unfertilized egg cell.