Apparently in the human (animal realm) there are females that are female in body but their DNA is (XY) male, apparently 7500 in U.S., but apparently not able to have children ( http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MedicalMysteries/story?id=5465752&page=1)

I understand species like female hammerhead sharks can make clones with no male necessary for their female offspring (clones). However, can a female make/extend a male, without receiving male fertilization?

If you also happen to know about the insect or plant kingdom please comment there as well.


Rephrasing your question

The question is worded in a funny way. If I am not mistaken your question is

Are there other means of reproduction than cloning that do not require mating with another individual? In particular, I am interested in such mean of reproduction that would allow an individual to create an offspring of another sex.

I will assume this is your question. I don't fully understand the point of the first paragraph though if this is your question.


Means of reproduction are much more diverse than we tend to think. So diverse that it is sometimes hard to really class each reproduction in non-arbitrary bucket.

Yes that exist! There are several modes of reproduction that may be of interest to you, the main one be selfing. Selfing is when an individual fertilizes itself. Now, by definition, such individuals need to be hermaphrodites, however it is not impossible that there are individuals that look males, others that look females and yet they (typically the females but not only) are able to self every so often.

Just to give a funny example to show how diverse system of reproduction might be. In social ants, the queen can either let the sperm of a male fertilize her eggs and produce a female worker (or a future queen depending on whether the larvae receive royal jelly) or chose to undergo normal meiosis but the gamete from the mother will directly develop into an individual without fertilization and make a male. This is not cloning because 1) only half of the genome is being transmitted and 2) recombination occur.


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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Remi, thanks for trying to answer my question, sorry for the confusion (I tried to rephrase). I'm trying to fully understand your ant example. My question is, can a female produce male offspring with no fertilization by a male? This would mean she is DNA complete male & female, and does not need the male in the species to procreate males. Does that exist? $\endgroup$ – Ray Jun 13 '17 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's what queen do. If the eggs is fertilize, it becomes a female, if the egg is not fertilize, it becomes a male (males are therefore haploids). This is just one example among many others (although I would not be able to pull out plenty of example out my mind right now). $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jun 13 '17 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know what you mean by ` DNA complete male & female` though. It seems like you think there is male DNA and female DNA. This is mostly wrong. You should have a look at this post, esp. the section Diversity among the species that have sexes of the accepted answer. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jun 13 '17 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, thanks Remi. What I mean by "DNA complete male & female" is a human man's cells has the DNA makeup to produce, say by cloning, either a boy or girl, but a human woman's cells do not, having XX and not an XY. Am I seeing things incorrectly? $\endgroup$ – Ray Jun 13 '17 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ Have you looked at the post I pointed to in the comment and in the post? Your issue is to think that all species are GSD while they're not. On top of that, your issue is to fail to recognize that in some GSD cases sexes are differentiated by copy number variants (CNV) (e.g. C. elegans) and therefore a single parent could just increase or decrease such number of variants. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jun 13 '17 at 14:53

Does Caenorhabitis elegans fit your description?

There are two C. elegans sexes: a self-fertilizing hermaphrodite (XX) and a male (XO). Males arise infrequently (0.1%) by spontaneous non-disjunction in the hermaphrodite germ line and at higher frequency (up to 50%) through mating. Self-fertilization of the hermaphrodite allows for homozygous worms to generate genetically identical progeny, and male mating facilitates the isolation and maintenance of mutant strains as well as moving mutations between strains.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for contributing. I'm confused about this -- read the link you gave: how does the female create an XO if she only has XX? Apparently, "Nondisjunction is the failure of homologous chromosomes or sister chromatids to separate properly during cell division. There are three forms of nondisjunction: failure of a pair of homologous chromosomes to separate in meiosis I, failure of sister chromatids to separate during meiosis II, and failure of sister chromatids to separate during mitosis" $\endgroup$ – Ray Jun 13 '17 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Comment cut me off. Anyway, how does she, XX, make an XO without him (XO)? $\endgroup$ – Ray Jun 13 '17 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Ray O is not a chromosome. O means absence of a chromosome. Hermaphrodites have two X chromosomes while males have one. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Jun 13 '17 at 15:14

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