Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Rachna VermaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_291-1



Gametes are sex cells of organisms, haploid in chromosome content that fuse with other haploid cells during fertilization in sexually reproducing organisms.

Purpose of Gamete Formation

Gametes or reproductive cells are always haploid in sexually reproducing organism in order to maintain the chromosomal number constant in the species after getting combined with the gamete from the other partner. The new organism has half the chromosomes from its mother and half from its father. Sexual reproduction also helps in the maintenance of genetic diversity of organisms because each organism has a different combination of genes than either of its parents. For example, in humans, a sperm cell gets fused with an egg cell, producing a zygote that has a unique set of genetic information and correct number of chromosomes.

Types of Gametes

There are two types of gametes in humans, male and female gametes. The male gamete is called sperm and has...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular & Human GeneticsBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia