One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mature haploid male or female germ cell which is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote.
- ‘Once within the gonads, the germ cells differentiate as either male or female gametes.’
- ‘Meiosis is the process by which diploid organisms produce haploid gametes capable of sexual reproduction.’
- ‘Zygotic embryogenesis in animals and plants starts with the fusion of the haploid female and male gametes, giving rise to a diploid zygote.’
- ‘This virus does not integrate into the fly chromosomes and is only vertically transmitted through male and female gametes.’
- ‘I assume that each new diploid individual results from the random fusion of a male and a female gamete and that its gender is independent of its autosomal genes.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin gameta, from Greek gametē ‘wife’, gametēs ‘husband’, from gamos ‘marriage’.
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