Female gametes are one of two sex cells needed to create a new organism. This lesson covers what a female gamete is, how it’s formed, and its role during reproduction.
What Are Female Gametes?
Female gametes are also known as eggs or ova. They are haploid cells that, when fused during sexual reproduction with a male gamete (sperm), form a zygote. Let’s break this down a little more. During sexual reproduction, two cells – one from a female organism and one from a male organism – fuse together to create a zygote, or a fertilized cell. This zygote will mature into a new individual of the same species as the mother and father.The female gamete is considered a haploid cell because it only has a half-set of chromosomes. When it fuses with the sperm of another haploid cell, their chromosomes come together to complete the set, resulting in a diploid zygote, which has a full set of chromosomes.
Formation of the Female Gamete
Gametes (both male and female) are the products of a special type of cellular reproduction called meiosis. Meiosis is special or different due to the number of chromosomes that results from it. During normal cell reproduction, mitosis, the resulting cells have the same number of chromosomes as the original cells.
In meiosis, however, the resulting cell only has half of the original number of chromosomes.There are a lot of phases and processes that occur during meiosis, but there are two main stages: meiosis I and meiosis II. At the end of meiosis I, two cells result, each with a full set of chromosomes. These cells again go through a process of duplicating and splitting, but this time, the resulting cells only have half of the chromosomes. The resulting cells of meiosis are the gametes.
The female gametes mature in the ovary of the female’s reproductive system.
The results of fertilization are a diploid zygote with a complete set of chromosomes.
In humans, a haploid cell has 23 chromosomes and a diploid cell has 46 chromosomes. This fusion of the cells is where we get all of our traits (or characteristics) from – our chromosomes give us our traits. Half of the traits come from our mother, and half come from our father. Some of the traits are more prevalent, or dominant, than others and will be expressed more fully.A fertilized egg will move from the fallopian tube to the awaiting uterus, which is now filled with blood. If the egg is not fertilized in time, it will be expelled out of the body along with the blood that filled the uterus.
In order for organisms to reproduce, two sex cells, or gametes, need to fuse together.
One gamete comes from the female, and one comes from the male. Female gametes are also called eggs or ova. Female gametes are also called eggs or ova. They are created during the cellular reproduction process known as meiosis. The resulting gamete cell is a haploid cell. When the two haploid cells, the egg and sperm, fuse together during fertilization, the result is a diploid cell called a zygote. The zygote will mature into a new individual.
The female gamete matures in the ovary and moves to the Fallopian tube. If it is fertilized, it will implant itself in the uterus and mature into a new organism. If it is not fertilized, it will be expelled from the body during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Female gametes: eggs or ova
- Sexual reproduction: two cells – one from a female organism and one from a male organism – fuse together
- Zygote: a fertilized cell
- Haploid: has a half-set of chromosomes
- Haploid cell: has 23 chromosomes
- Diploid: has a full set of chromosomes
- Diploid cell: has 46 chromosomes
- Mitosis: cellular reproduction process in which the resulting cells from reproduction have the same number of chromosomes as the original cells
- Meiosis: cellular reproduction process in which the resulting cell only has half of the original number of chromosomes
Completion of the lesson on the female gamete could occur simultaneously with your ability to:
- Define female gametes and related terms
- Contrast mitosis and meiosis
- Outline the fertilization process