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Gametogenesis is a biological
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 process by which diploid or haploid precursor cell
Precursor cell
In cytology, a precursor cell, also called a blast cell or simply blast, is a type of partially differentiated, usually unipotent cellthat has lost most or all of the stem cell multipotency....

s undergo cell division
Cell division
Cell division is the process by which a parent cell divides into two or more daughter cells . Cell division is usually a small segment of a larger cell cycle. This type of cell division in eukaryotes is known as mitosis, and leaves the daughter cell capable of dividing again. The corresponding sort...

 and differentiation to form mature haploid gamete
A gamete is a cell that fuses with another cell during fertilization in organisms that reproduce sexually...

s. Depending on the biological life cycle
Biological life cycle
A life cycle is a period involving all different generations of a species succeeding each other through means of reproduction, whether through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction...

 of the organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

, gametogenesis occurs by meiotic
Meiosis is a special type of cell division necessary for sexual reproduction. The cells produced by meiosis are gametes or spores. The animals' gametes are called sperm and egg cells....

 division of diploid gametocyte
A gametocyte is a eukaryotic germ cell that divides by mitosis into other gametocytes or by meiosis into gametids during gametogenesis. Male gametocytes are called spermatocytes, and female gametocytes are called oocytes....

s into various gametes, or by mitotic
Mitosis is the process by which a eukaryotic cell separates the chromosomes in its cell nucleus into two identical sets, in two separate nuclei. It is generally followed immediately by cytokinesis, which divides the nuclei, cytoplasm, organelles and cell membrane into two cells containing roughly...

 division of haploid gametogenous cells. For example, plants produce gametes through mitosis in gametophytes. The gametophytes grow from haploid spores after sporic meiosis. The existence of a multicellular, haploid phase in the life cycle between meiosis and gametogenesis is also referred to as alternation of generations
Alternation of generations
Alternation of generations is a term primarily used in describing the life cycle of plants . A multicellular sporophyte, which is diploid with 2N paired chromosomes , alternates with a multicellular gametophyte, which is haploid with N unpaired chromosomes...


In animals

Animals produce gametes directly through meiosis in organs called gonad
The gonad is the organ that makes gametes. The gonads in males are the testes and the gonads in females are the ovaries. The product, gametes, are haploid germ cells. For example, spermatozoon and egg cells are gametes...

s. Male
Male refers to the biological sex of an organism, or part of an organism, which produces small mobile gametes, called spermatozoa. Each spermatozoon can fuse with a larger female gamete or ovum, in the process of fertilization...

s and female
Female is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces non-mobile ova .- Defining characteristics :The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by the male...

s of a species that reproduces sexually
Sexual reproduction
Sexual reproduction is the creation of a new organism by combining the genetic material of two organisms. There are two main processes during sexual reproduction; they are: meiosis, involving the halving of the number of chromosomes; and fertilization, involving the fusion of two gametes and the...

 have different forms of gametogenesis:
  • spermatogenesis
    Spermatogenesis is the process by which male primary germ cells undergo division, and produce a number of cells termed spermatogonia, from which the primary spermatocytes are derived. Each primary spermatocyte divides into two secondary spermatocytes, and each secondary spermatocyte into two...

  • oogenesis
    Oogenesis, ovogenesis or oögenesis is the creation of an ovum . It is the female form of gametogenesis. The male equivalent is spermatogenesis...



However, before turning into gametogonia, the embryonic development of gametes is the same in males and females.

Common path

Gametogonia are usually seen as the initial stage of gametogenesis. However, gametogonia are themselves successors of primordial germ cells. During early embryonic development, primordial germ cells (PGCs) from the dorsal endoderm
Endoderm is one of the three primary germ cell layers in the very early embryo. The other two layers are the ectoderm and mesoderm , with the endoderm as the intermost layer...

 of the yolk sac
Yolk sac
The yolk sac is a membranous sac attached to an embryo, providing early nourishment in the form of yolk in bony fishes, sharks, reptiles, birds, and primitive mammals...

 migrate along the hindgut to the gonadal ridge
Gonadal ridge
In embryology, the gonadal ridge is the precursor to the gonads. The gonadal ridge initially consists mainly of mesenchyme and cells of underlying mesonephric origin. Once oogonia enter this area they attempt to associate with these somatic cells...

. They multiply by mitosis
Mitosis is the process by which a eukaryotic cell separates the chromosomes in its cell nucleus into two identical sets, in two separate nuclei. It is generally followed immediately by cytokinesis, which divides the nuclei, cytoplasm, organelles and cell membrane into two cells containing roughly...

 and once they have reached the gonadal ridge in the late embryonic stage, they are called gametogonia. Gametogonia are no longer the same between males and females.

Individual path

From gametogonia, male and female gametes develop differently - males by spermatogenesis and females by oogenesis. However, by convention, the following pattern is common for both:
Cell type ploidy
Ploidy is the number of sets of chromosomes in a biological cell.Human sex cells have one complete set of chromosomes from the male or female parent. Sex cells, also called gametes, combine to produce somatic cells. Somatic cells, therefore, have twice as many chromosomes. The haploid number is...

chromatids Process
| gametogonium
A gametogonium is a germ cell that divides into gametocytes during gametogenesis. Male gametogonia are called spermatogonia, and female gametogonia are called oogonia....

diploid/46 2N before replication, 4N after it gametocytogenesis
Gametocytogenesis is the creation of gametocytes by mitotic division of gametogonia. Males and females of a species that reproduces sexually have different forms of gametocytogenesis:* spermatocytogenesis * oocytogenesis...

| primary gametocyte
diploid/46 2N before replication, 4N after it meiosis
Meiosis is a special type of cell division necessary for sexual reproduction. The cells produced by meiosis are gametes or spores. The animals' gametes are called sperm and egg cells....

| secondary gametocyte
haploid/23 2N >-
| gametid
A gametid is a kind of germ cell that results from the meiosis of a gametocyte. Male gametids are spermatids, while female gametids are ootids. The development of a gametids is called gametidogenesis....

haploid/23 1N >-
| gamete
haploid/23 1N

In gametangia

Fungi, algae and primitive plants form specialized haploid structures called gametangia where gametes are produced through mitosis. In some fungi, for example zygomycota
Zygomycota, or zygote fungi, is a phylum of fungi. The name comes from zygosporangia, where resistant spherical spores are formed during sexual reproduction. Approximately 1060 species are known. They are mostly terrestrial in habitat, living in soil or on decaying plant or animal material...

, the gametangia are single cells on the end of hypha
A hypha is a long, branching filamentous structure of a fungus, and also of unrelated Actinobacteria. In most fungi, hyphae are the main mode of vegetative growth, and are collectively called a mycelium; yeasts are unicellular fungi that do not grow as hyphae.-Structure:A hypha consists of one or...

e and acting as gametes by fusing into a zygote
A zygote , or zygocyte, is the initial cell formed when two gamete cells are joined by means of sexual reproduction. In multicellular organisms, it is the earliest developmental stage of the embryo...

. More typically, gametangia are multicellular structures that differentiate into male and female organs:
  • antheridium
    An antheridium or antherida is a haploid structure or organ producing and containing male gametes . It is present in the gametophyte phase of lower plants like mosses and ferns, and also in the primitive vascular psilotophytes...

  • archegonium
    An archegonium , from the ancient Greek ἀρχή and γόνος , is a multicellular structure or organ of the gametophyte phase of certain plants, producing and containing the ovum or female gamete. The archegonium has a long neck canal and a swollen base...


In flowering plants

In flowering plants, the male gamete is produced inside the pollen grain
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 through the division of a generative cell into two sperm nuclei. Depending on the species, this can occur while the pollen forms in the anther or after pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

 and growth of the pollen tube
Pollen tube
The pollen tubes is the male gametophyte of seed plants that acts as a conduit to transport the male sperm cells from the pollen grain, either from the stigma to the ovules at the base of the pistil, or directly through ovule tissue in some gymnosperms .After pollination, the pollen tube...

. The female gamete is produced inside the embryo sac of the ovule
Ovule means "small egg". In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells. It consists of three parts: The integument forming its outer layer, the nucellus , and the megaspore-derived female gametophyte in its center...