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gamete

gamete A specialized haploid cell (sometimes called a sex cell) whose nucleus and often cytoplasm fuses with that of another gamete (from the opposite sex or mating type) in the process of fertilization, thus forming a diploid zygote. In the lower plants the male gamete is a motile antherozoid, which needs water as a medium in which to move, similar to the spermatozoon in animals, and the female gamete is contained in the archegonium. In higher plants the male gamete is contained in the male gametophyte (microspore) and the female gamete is contained in the female gametophyte (megaspore); fertilization takes place only after the gametophytes come into contact (pollination) and the male gamete can be released without having to leave the plant. This adaptation, permitting fertilization in the absence of water, is analagous to internal fertilization in animals, and, like internal fertilization of animals, is an adaptation to dry environments. Usually there are many small male gametes, but only a few or one female gamete.

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gamete

gamete A specialized haploid (see HAPLOID NUMBER) cell (sometimes called a sex cell) whose nucleus and often cytoplasm fuses with that of another gamete (from the opposite sex or mating type) in the process of fertilization, thus forming a diploid zygote. In some animals (e.g. mammals) the gametes are differentiated: the male is a motile sperm with reduced cytoplasm, and the female is immobile with a large amount of cytoplasm called the egg or ovum, which develops when stimulated. Usually there are many small male gametes, but only a few or one female gamete.

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gamete

gamete A reproductive cell that fuses with another gamete to form a zygote. Examples of gametes are ova and spermatozoa. Gametes are haploid, i.e. they contain half the normal (diploid) number of chromosomes; thus when two fuse, the diploid number is restored (see fertilization). Gametes are formed by meiosis. Gametes often differ in size, the smaller (usually male) gamete being known as the microgamete and the larger (usually female) as the macrogamete. See also sexual reproduction.

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gamete

gam·ete / ˈgamēt; gəˈmēt/ • n. Biol. a mature haploid male or female germ cell that is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote. DERIVATIVES: ga·met·ic / gəˈmetik/ adj.

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gamete

gamete Reproductive sex cell that joins with another sex cell to form a new organism. Female gametes (ova) are usually motionless; male gametes (sperm) often have a tail (flagellum) enabling them to swim to the ovum. All gametes are haploid having a single set of chromosomes in each cell.

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gamete

gamete A specialized haploid cell (i.e. a sex cell) the nucleus and often the cytoplasm of which fuse with that of another gamete from the opposite sex or mating type in the process of fertilization.

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gamete

gamete (gam-eet) n. a mature sex cell: the ovum of the female or the spermatozoon of the male. Gametes are haploid, containing half the normal number of chromosomes.

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gamete

gamete XIX. — modL. gameta — Gr. gametḗ wife, gamétēs husband, f. gámos marriage.

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gamete

gamete (găm´ēt): see reproduction.

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gamete

gameteaccrete, beat, beet, bittersweet, bleat, cheat, cleat, clubfeet, compete, compleat, complete, conceit, Crete, deceit, delete, deplete, discreet, discrete, eat, effete, élite, entreat, escheat, estreat, excrete, feat, feet, fleet, gîte, greet, heat, leat, leet, Magritte, maltreat, marguerite, meat, meet, mesquite, mete, mistreat, neat, outcompete, peat, Pete, petite, pleat, receipt, replete, seat, secrete, sheet, skeet, sleet, splay-feet, street, suite, sweet, teat, treat, tweet, wheat •backbeat • heartbeat • deadbeat •breakbeat • offbeat • browbeat •downbeat • drumbeat • upbeat •sugar beet • Blackfeet • flatfeet •forefeet • exegete • polychaete •lorikeet • parakeet •athlete, biathlete, decathlete, heptathlete, pentathlete, triathlete •kick-pleat • paraclete • obsolete •gamete • crabmeat • sweetmeat •mincemeat • forcemeat • backstreet •concrete • window seat

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Gamete

Gamete

A gamete is a specialized reproductive cell. It usually has half as many chromosomes in its nuclei as body (somatic) cells. All sexually reproducing plants, animals, and microbes produce gametes some time during their lives.

During the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century the scientists J. L. Prevost, J. B. Dumas, T. Schwann, and R. Virchow were influential in the evolving consensus that sperm were cells, and that they united with other cells, ova or eggs, to form a fertilized cell (a zygote) that went on to form a new organism.

Gametes usually form in the gonads, organs that form the sex cells. In flowering plants, gonads are found in the flowers. The male gonads are the anthers, seen as the enlarged tips of the stamens. The anthers produce pollen (male gametes) in flowering plants. The female gametes are formed in the base of the flower, in the ovules, located in the ovary of the pistil.

In vertebrates such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, the male gonads are the testes, where very large numbers of gametes (spermatozoa) are formed. Female gonads (ovaries) produce low numbers of gametes known as eggs, or ova. Usually the number of mature egg cells is far fewer than the number of sperm cells formed in the males (counted in the millions).

In most organisms the gametes are produced by a special double cell division process, a reduction division known as meiosis, in which new cells (gametes) end up with half as many chromosomes as the original cell. The fusion of the egg and sperm at fertilization restores the normal chromosome number. In the case of bees, however, the fertile female queen bee is fertilized by a male bee called a drone. But a drone develops from an unfertilized egg, which is a single gamete (ovum). Therefore drone sperm must be produced by ordinary cell division (mitosis) instead of the meiotic cell division that usually forms gametes.

Currently there is much interest in manipulating the gametes of domestic animals in breeding programs to promote characteristics yielding economic advantages in agriculture. Female cattle are given hormones to cause multiple ovulation (release of ova), which are then artificially fertilized with male gametes (bull semen) in the uterus. After a few days the tiny embryos are flushed out of the waters and stored as frozen embryos for later insertion and gestation in surrogate mothers. A similar technique has been developed for use in humans.

Another biotechnology that is being tried in a few human cases is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This technique requires a skilled technician with a micropipette and microscope to capture a single sperm and inject it directly into the cytoplasm of an ovum. When successful, the resulting embryo must then be implanted into a uterus prepared to receive and nourish the new offspring.

See also Sexual reproduction.

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Gamete

Gamete

A gamete is a specialized reproductive cell . The cells usually have one half as many chromosomes in their nuclei as the majority of body cells, which are known as somatic cells. All sexually-reproducing plants, animals, and microbes produce gametes sometime during their life span.

During the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century the scientists J. L. Prevost, J. B. Dumas, T. Schwann, and R. Virchow were especially influential in the evolving consensus that sperm were cells, and that these cells united with other cells, ova or egg cells, to form a fertilized cell (a zygote) that went on to form a new organism .

Gametes usually form in the gonads, organs which form the sex cells. In flowering plants, the gonads are found in the flowers. The male gonads are the anthers, seen as the enlarged tips of the stamens. The anthers produce pollen (male gametes) in flowering plants. The female gametes are formed in the base of the flower , in the ovules, located in the ovary of the pistil.

In vertebrates such as fish , amphibians , reptiles , birds , and mammals the male gonads are the testis, where very large numbers of gametes (spermatozoa) are formed. The female gonads (ovaries) of these animals produce low numbers of gametes known as eggs, or ova. Usually the number of mature egg cells produced in females is far fewer (a handful) than the number of sperm cells formed in the males (counted in the millions).

In most organisms the gametes are produced by a special double cell division process, a reduction division known as meiosis , in which new cells (gametes) end up with half as many chromosomes as the original cell. The fusion of the egg and sperm at fertilization restores the normal chromosome number. In the case of bees , the fertile female queen bee is fertilized by male gametes from a male bee called a drone. But a drone develops from an unfertilized egg, which is a single gamete (ovum)! Therefore the sperm of the drone must be produced by ordinary cell division (mitosis ) instead of the meiotic cell division which usually is involved in the formation of fertile gametes.

Currently there is much interest in manipulating the gametes of domestic animals in breeding programs to promote characteristics yielding economic advantages in agriculture. Selected female cattle are given hormones to cause multiple ovulation (release of ova) which are then artificially fertilized with male gametes (bull semen) in the uterus. After a few days the tiny embryos are flushed out of the waters and stored as frozen embryos for later insertion and gestation in surrogate mothers. A similar technique has been developed for use in humans.

Another new biotechnology that is being tried in a few human cases is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This technique involves a skilled technician with a micro pipette and microscope capturing a single sperm and injecting it directly into the cytoplasm of a female gamete, the ovum. When successful, the resulting embryo must then be implanted into a uterus prepared to receive and nourish the new offspring.

See also Sexual reproduction.

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