Definition - What does Gamete mean?

A gamete is a sex or reproductive cell that fuses during sexual reproduction to form a new cell known as a zygote. There are two types of gametes: the female gamete called the ovum (egg), and the male gamete known as sperm.

In seed-bearing plants, the male sperm that produces gametophytes is pollen. The plant ovary contains the female gamete (ovule). In animals, a gamete is formed in both female and male gonads. The female ovum is non-motile and relatively large compared to the male gamete.

MaximumYield explains Gamete

Gamete sex cells are produced through a process of cell division known as meiosis. The parent gamete has two sets of both chromosomes. The diploid parent cell undergoes a round of DNA replication followed by two different nuclear division cycles to form haploid cells. The haploid cell, from both male and female gametes, has only one set of chromosomes each. These haploid cells develop into ova or sperm. The haploid female and male cells bond during fertilization, forming a zygote. The zygote is usually diploid since it contains two sets of chromosomes acquired from the haploid gametes of both sexes.

Some female and male gametes have a similar size and shape, while other gametes have a different size and shape. In some species of fungi and algae, female and male gametes are motile and almost identical. Higher animals, plants, and some species of fungi and algae show a particular type of anisogamy known as oogamy. In oogamy, the female gamete is much larger than the male sex cell, and it is non-motile.

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