The term apomixes was first used by Winkler in 1906. Apomixes refers to the development of seed without fertilization. In other words it does not involve sexual fusion for development of seed. It differs from amphimixis which involves union of male and female gametes for development of seed.
Main features of apomixes are given below:
i. It is an asexual means of plant reproduction.
ii. Apomixes is found in many plant species. It is more frequent in fruit crops than in field crops.
iii. In some plant species, reproduction occurs only by apomixes. This type of apomixes is referred to as obligate apomixes.
iv. In some plant species, sexual reproduction also occurs in addition to apomixes. This type of apomixes is known as facultative apomixes.
v. Apomixes does not permit segregation. It is useful in maintaining the genetic purity of mother plant.
vi. Apomixes does not involve union of male and female gametes hence it does not permit recombination. In other words, it does not lead to generation of variability in the population.
vii. It does not permit gene flow. In other words, it does not permit combination of genes from different sources.
viii. It helps in rapid development of pure lines. It can be achieved by haploid parthenogenesis.
ix. It is useful in conserving superior genotypes as well as hybrid vigour.
X. Apomixes is genetically controlled. In majority of cases it is governed by single dominant gene.
xi. Apomixes has been reported in more than 300 plant species of 35 families.