Apomixis

Definition - What does Apomixis mean?

First coined by botanist Hans Winkler, the term apomixis refers to asexual plant reproduction that occurs without any form of fertilization. Unlike asexual propagation from leaves or cuttings, apomixis is categorized by its lack of outside intervention, such as replacement of seeds by plantlets or flowers by bulbils. The process of apomixis births plants that are genetically identical to the parent plants.

MaximumYield explains Apomixis

According to Jens Clausen, apomixis has been shown to encourage evolutionary fitness. For example, this process can pass on positive traits that can boost plant health or development to the next generation of plants.

According to botanists, the process of apomixis can be classified as such:

  • Vegetative apomixis: In this type of apomixis, flowers are commonly replaced by some bulbils or various other types of propagules. This process is often found in certain types of grasses as well as Agave, Fragaria and Allium.
  • Non-recurrent apomixis: Plants that undergo Nonrecurrent apomixis have a megaspore mother cell that form a haploid embryo. This embryo sac does not contain as many chromosomes as the mothering plant.
  • Gametophytic apomixis: Unlike non-recurrent apomixis, the new generation of plants display the same number of chromosomes as the mothering plant. This is because the process of meiosis is not entirely completed.
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