A new case of parthenogenesis in California condor

A new case of parthenogenesis  has been described in California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)

Parthenogenesis is a relatively rare event in birds, documented in unfertilized eggs from columbid, galliform, and passerine females with no access to males. In the critically endangered California condor, parentage analysis conducted utilizing polymorphic microsatellite loci has identified two instances of parthenogenetic development from the eggs of two females in the captive breeding program, each continuously housed with a reproductively capable male with whom they had produced offspring. Paternal genetic contribution to the two chicks was excluded. Both parthenotes possessed the expected male ZZ sex chromosomes and were homozygous for all evaluated markers inherited from their dams. These findings represent the first molecular marker-based identification of facultative parthenogenesis in an avian species, notably of females in regular contact with fertile males, and add to the phylogenetic breadth of vertebrate taxa documented to have reproduced via asexual reproduction.

[1] O. A. Ryder e.a., ‘Facultative Parthenogenesis in California Condors’, Journal of Heredity, nr. esab052, okt. 2021, doi: 10.1093/jhered/esab052.