Definition of anisogamy in English:



mass nounBiology
  • Sexual reproduction by the fusion of dissimilar gametes.

    Compare with isogamy
    • ‘In many species with gametes of different sizes (anisogamy), sexual crosses typically produce progeny with mitochondrial DNA inherited from the larger gamete.’
    • ‘Since anisogamy (gametes of different sizes: eggs and sperm) is what defines the sexes it is thus a prerequisite for sexual dimorphism.’
    • ‘A popular theory has proposed that anisogamy originated through disruptive selection acting on an ancestral isogamous population.’
    • ‘Isogamy and anisogamy, and sometimes oogamy, may occur.’
    • ‘Meiosis produces 4 gametes, ie. isogamy, anisogamy and oogamy, which through mitosis develops into mature gametes.’
    • ‘Orders that are characterized by oogamy (or pronounced anisogamy) and are reported to have large female gametes have the largest nuclear genomes observed regardless of their phylogenetic position.’
    • ‘The principle behind anisogamy is a division of the labour necessary for two gametes to unite and successfully develop.’


Late 19th century: from Greek anisos ‘unequal’ + -gamy (from gamos ‘marriage’).