The Formation of Gametes

  • Volker Blüm


Vertebrates are normally not able to reproduce at the time when they hatch out of the egg or are born. Rather, they go through a phase of growth first by the end of which the gonads have become functional and secondary sex characteristics have developed. The entire process, from the beginning of the maturation of the gonads to the animal becoming fully capable of reproducing, is called pubertas, or puberty. This term refers not only to the formation of functional gonads and thus the attainment of sexual maturity but the whole change over from the growth phase to the reproudctive phase of life. For domesticated animals one can divide puberty into a period of sexual maturity and a time of breeding readiness. For example, horses become sexually mature at an age of between 15 and 18 months but reproduction first takes place when they have reached the stage of breeding readiness at an age of between 36 and 60 months. In many cases the transition from the juvenile to the adult state is not complete when the gonads become functional because the animal continues to develop until it is fully able to reproduce. Species with a short life-span have a very short puberty as a rule and by the time the gonads are functional the body has also matured in all other respects necessary for reproduction. Puberty takes a much longer time in species with a long life-span.


Granulosa Cell Sertoli Cell Follicle Cell Cyst Cell Lampbrush Chromosome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Volker Blüm
    • 1
  1. 1.Arbeitsgruppe fü vergleichende EndokrinologieAbteilung für Biologie Ruhr-UniversitätBochum 1Germany

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