Fertilization Without a Male – A Wonder Method Of Reproduction
It is a known fact that for producing a new offspring male and the female germ cells (sperms and oocytes) are required. The nucleus of the sperm and the oocyte fuse and fertilization takes place. The fertilized egg divides further and the embryo forms and ultimately it grows and a new living being is produced.
Contrary to this usual method some species can multiply without the use of a male gamete. The female gamete it self can divide independently and produce a new offspring. This process of multiplication without the need of male gamete is called ‘Parthenogenisis’ or virgin birth existing naturally in certain Insects, Lizards, Ants, Fishes, snakes and frogs.
It is also reported recently that a hammerhead shark under captivity produced an off spring without mating by Parthenogenesis. It is also reported to occur in Komodo dragons (A largest lizard Varanus komodoensis found in Komodo islands of Indonesia. Yet in another case scientists could produce mice also by parthenogenesis successfully.
Some non mammalian species reproduce only by parthenogenesis but in some species parthenogenesis is only under adverse circumstances. Komodo dragons reproduce by parthenogenesis when a male is not available where as Aphids reproduce by parthenogenesis when there is sufficient food available. In certain wasps parthenogenesis is forced when they are infected with bacteria.
Some species of water fleas can reproduce in both the methods. Several scientists tried to induce parthenogenesis artificially by several methods. Though they are successful in stimulating the egg for development complete progress could not be achieved. Scientists are of the opinion that human eggs are also capable, but it is highly unlikely. However they can be stimulated artificially. But the ethical rules and regulations come in the way.