Progenesis is a mechanism in
developmental biologythat is associated with paedomorphosis. Progenesis refers to the attainment of sexualmaturity by an organismstill in its larvalor juvenile stage and a secondary result of never experiencing later developmental stages. Organisms that are progenetic never achieve the adult form experienced by their evolutionary ancestors.
Mechanisms of progenesis
Progenesis is sometimes induced by environmental conditions that inhibit the completion of metamorphosis, such as low temperature or lack of available
iodineleading to low thyroid glandactivity. The larval form may mature sexually, mate, and produce fully viable offspring. If environmental conditions improve, this particular kind of progenesis can sometimes be reversed, with the larvae completing metamorphosis and attaining normal maturity.
This biological state is found in certain
amphibiansand also among insects.
Progenetic organisms are capable of
paedogenesis. This is the act of reproducing while in the larval form and occurs in the females of certain beetles, Strepsiptera, bagworms, and gall midges.
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