Definition of heterogametic in US English:



  • Denoting the sex which has sex chromosomes that differ in morphology, resulting in two different kinds of gamete, e.g. (in mammals) the male and (in birds) the female.

    The opposite of homogametic
    • ‘Like humans, sand lizard males have heterogametic sex chromosomes.’
    • ‘Many groups have the familiar XX female, XY male system encountered in most mammals, but others, such as birds and butterflies, have heterogametic ZW females and homogametic ZZ males.’
    • ‘In birds, the female is the heterogametic sex and she has one Z and one W chromosome, whereas the male has two Z chromosomes.’
    • ‘In birds, the heterogametic female possesses both genes, while the male possesses only CHD1 - Z.’
    • ‘However, the sex chromosomes of birds contain a complement of genes different from those on the mammalian sex chromosomes, and the heterogametic sex is the female.’