Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction • 4.1 Halving the Chromosome Number • 4.2 Genetic Variation • 4.3 The Phases of Meiosis • 4.4 Meiosis Compared to Mitosis • 4.5 The Human Life Cycle
Meiosisis the type of nuclear division that reduces the chromosome number from the diploid (2n) numberto the haploid (n) number. • The diploid (2n) number refers to the total number of chromosomes. The haploid (n) number of chromosomes is half the diploid number. • In humans, the diploid number of 46 is reduced to the haploid number of 23.
Gametes(reproductive cells, often the sperm and egg) have the haploid number of chromosomes. • Fusion of gametes form a cell called a zygote. A zygote always has the full or diploid (2n) number of chromosomes. In plants and animals, the zygote undergoes development to become an adult organism.
In diploid body cells, the chromosomes occur in pairs which are called Homologous chromosomes or homologues. • They look alike. • Alternate forms of a gene are called alleles. • One member of a homologous pair was inherited from the male parent, and the other was inherited from the female parent by way of the gametes.
Meiosis requires two nuclear divisions and produces four haploid daughter cells, each having half the total number of chromosome.
Fate of Daughter Cells In the plant life cycle, the daughter cells become haploid spores that germinate to become a haploid generation. This generation produces the gametes by mitosis. In the animal life cycle, the daughter cells become the gametes, either sperm or eggs.
Meiosis provides a way to keep the chromosome number constant generation after generation. • Meiosis brings about genetic variation in a way which is called: • Crossing over.
Crossing over • Exchange of genetic material between non-sister chromatids of a bivalent during meiosis
Significance of Genetic Variation • The amount of genetic variation achieved through meiosis is particularly important to the long-term survival of a species because it increases genetic variation within a population.
Meiosis I • Prophase I • Metaphase I • Anaphase I • Telophase I • Meiosis II • Prophase II • Metaphase II • Anaphase II • Telophase II Meiosis consists of two unique cell divisions:
Meiosis requires two nuclear divisions, but mitosis requires only one nuclear division. Meiosis produces four daughter nuclei. Mitosis followed by cytokinesis results in two daughter cells. Following meiosis, the four daughter cells are haploid and have half the chromosome number as the diploid parent cell. Following mitosis, the daughter cells have the same chromosome number as the parent cell. Following meiosis, the daughter cells are neither genetically identical to each other or to the parent cell. Following mitosis, the daughter cells are genetically identical to each other and to the parent cell. Generally
Meiosis occurs only at certain times in the life cycle of sexually reproducing organisms. In humans, meiosis occurs only in the reproductive organs and produces the gametes. Mitosis is more common because it occurs in all tissues during growth and repair. Occurrence
• During prophase I, bivalents form and crossing-over occurs. These events do not occur during mitosis. • During metaphase I of meiosis, bivalents independently align at the metaphase plate. The paired chromosomes have a total of four chromatids each. During metaphase in mitosis, individual chromosomes align at the metaphase plate. They each have two chromatids. • During anaphase I of meiosis, homologues of each bivalent separate and duplicated chromosomes (with intact centromeres) move to opposite poles. During anaphase of mitosis, sister chromatids separate, becoming daughter chromosomes that move to opposite poles. Process
The term life cycle refers to all the reproductive events that occur from one generation to the next similar generation.
In animals, including humans, the individual is always diploid, and meiosis produces the gametes (gametogenesis), the only haploid phase of the life cycle. • In males, meiosis is a part of spermatogenesiswhich occurs in the testes and produces sperm. • In females, meiosis is a part of oogenesiswhich occurs in the ovaries and produces eggs. • A sperm and egg join at fertilization, restoring the diploid chromosome number. The resulting zygote undergoes mitosis during development of the fetus. After birth, mitosis is involved in the continued growth of the child and repair of tissues at any time.
Plants have a haploid phase that alternates with a diploid phase. The haploid generation, known as the gametophyte, may be larger or smaller than the diploid generation, which called the sporophyte. • Mosses growing on bare rocks and forest floors are the haploid generation, and the diploid generation is short-lived.
In most fungi and algae, the zygote is the only diploid portion of the life cycle, and it undergoes meiosis. Therefore, the black mold that grows on bread and the green scum that floats on a pond are haploid. • The majority of plant species, including pine, corn, and sycamore, are usually diploid, and the haploid generation is short-lived.
Spermatogenesis and Oogenesis in Humans In human males, spermatogenesis occurs within the testes, and in females, oogenesis occurs within the ovaries.
The testes of human male contain stem cells called spermatogonia, and these cells keep the testes supplied with primary spermatocytes that undergo spermatogenesis. Primary spermatocytes with 46 chromosomes undergo meiosis I to form two secondary spermatocytes, each with 23 duplicated chromosomes. Secondary spermatocytes undergo meiosis II to produce four spermatids with 23 daughter chromosomes. Spermatids then differentiate into viable sperm (spermatozoa).
The ovaries contain stem cells called oogonia that produce many primary oocytes with 46 chromosomes during fetal development. They even begin oogenesis, but only a few continue when a female is sexually mature. The result of meiosis I is two haploid cells with 23 chromosomes. One of these cells, termed the secondary oocytereceives almost all the cytoplasm. The other is a polar body that may either disintegrate or divide again. The secondary oocyte begins meiosis II but stops at metaphase II. Then the secondary oocyte leaves the ovary and enters an oviduct.