- Development of a germ cell without fertilization. This is what happens in the formation of ovarian teratomas (dermoid cysts). All of the chromosomes in these benign tumors of the ovary come from the mother. The counterpart of the ovarian teratoma is the hydatidiform mole, a tumor that forms within the uterus. All the chromosomes in hydatidiform moles come from the male partner. While both ovarian teratomas and hydatidiform moles are the products of parthenogenesis, ovarian teratomas are of gynecogenic (female) origin while hydatidiform moles are of androgenic (male) origin. The term "parthenogenesis" comes from the Greek "parthenos" (virgin) + "genesis" (generation). The Greek goddess Artemis (called Parthenos, the virgin) was associated with nymphs who became pregnant and were transformed into beasts.
* * *A form of nonsexual reproduction, or agamogenesis, in which the female reproduces its kind without fecundation by the male. SYN: apogamia, apogamy, apomixia, virgin generation. [G. parthenos, virgin, + genesis, product]
* * *par·the·no·gen·e·sis .pär-thə-nō-'jen-ə-səs n, pl -e·ses -.sēz reproduction by development of an unfertilized usu. female gamete that occurs esp. among lower plants and invertebrate animals
* * *n.reproduction in which an organism develops from an unfertilized ovum. It is common in plants and occurs in some lower animals (e.g. aphids).
* * *par·the·no·gen·e·sis (pahr″thə-no-jenґə-sis) [Gr. parthenos virgin + -genesis] a modified form of sexual reproduction with development of a gamete without fertilization, as occurs in some plants and invertebrates, especially arthropods including honey bees and wasps, and in certain lizards. It may occur as a natural phenomenon or be induced by chemical, thermal, or mechanical stimulation (artificial p.).
Medical dictionary. 2011.