Zygote - (genetic) definition

Zygote - (genetic) definition

Zygote - the fertilized ovum (egg) before it begins to divide. The spermatozoon (SPERM cell) and the ovum are each haploid cells (gametes); they contain half the complement of chromosomes necessary to create an organism. When two gametes join they form a single diploid cell that contains the full complement of chromosomes. The zygote then divides as a haploid cell, becoming a blastocyst and eventually forming an EMBRYO.

For further discussion of zygotes within the context of the structures and functions of genetics, please see the overview section “Genetics and Molecular Medicine.”

See also ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ART); CELL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION; CHROMOSOME; CONCEPTION; GAMETE; OVULATION.

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Genetics and Molecular Medicine

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