What is the difference between gametogenesis in female mammals and male mammals?


Quick Answer

A major difference between male and female mammalian gametogenesis is that each instance produces four sperm cells in males, while one ovum and three polar bodies that die develop in females, explains University of Dayton. Male gametogenesis continues throughout the mammal's life, while female gametogenesis ends with menopause.

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Full Answer

Gametogenesis is another name for the biological process of meiosis, which produces sperm cells in males and ovum, or eggs, cells in females, explains SparkNotes. Gametogenesis is called spermatogenesis in male mammals and oogenesis in female mammals. It takes approximately seven weeks for a sperm cell to reach maturity, while an ovum takes between 13 and 50 years to develop fully, notes University of Dayton.

The process of spermatogenesis begins with a diploid cell called a spermatogonium, explains SparkNotes. Through a process of chromosomal replication and cell division, spermatogenesis begins when a male starts puberty and creates four haploid sperm cells per meiotic event. A diploid cell contains two copies of each chromosome, while a haploid cell contains one of each, notes Clinton Community College.

Unlike spermatogenesis, which begins during puberty, oogenesis begins before a female mammal is born, explains University of Dayton. Oogenesis begins with a diploid cell called a primary oocyte and, like spermatogenesis, produces four haploid cells, explains SparkNotes. However, only one of those haploid cells goes on to become an ovum cell, while the other three form into polar bodies that die. Once a female begins menstruating, one ovum cell, which first began developing before birth, completes maturation per menstrual cycle.

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