primary spermatocyte


[spur-mat-uh-sahyt, spur-muh-tuh-]

A spermatocyte is a male gametocyte which is derived from a spermatogonium. It lies in the seminiferous tubules of the testis, and divides to form sperm cells through the process of spermatogenesis.


Initially in spermatogenesis, a spermatogonium divides by mitosis into two so-called primary spermatocytes. A primary spermatocyte is also diploid, and, in turn, gives place by meiosis to two secondary spermatocytes, which this time are haploid. The two secondary spermatocytes undergo a second meiotic division thereby expelling half the amount of chromosomes to form 4 haploid cells called spermatids. The spermatids mature into sperm cells, who travel through the seminiferous tubules to mature further in the epididymis.

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