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Meiosis, fertilisation and sex determination

Meiosis is the cell division that produces unique gametes used in sexual reproduction and involves two cell divisions. Gametes have half the number of chromosomes (haploid, 1n)
E.g. in humans sperm and eggs have 23 chromosomes

This process occurs in the cells of the reproductive organs testes and ovaries. Before meiosis begins, each chromosome must replicate. The homologous pairs are separated in the first cell division and chromatids are separated in the second cell division.

Meiosis Cell Division

Parent cell has 4 chromosomes / two homologous pairs.

1. Each chromosome is duplicated, with the chromatids remaining attached by a centromere. 2. The nuclear membrane disappears and spindle forms. Homologous pairs come together. 3. Homologous chromosomes line up in the centre of the cell and attach to the spindle. 4. Spindle fibres pull homologous pairs apart to either end of the cell. 5. Cell divides between each set; nuclear membrane temporarily reforms. 6. Nuclear membrane disappears again. Chromosomes (made up of two chromatids) again attach themselves to the spindle along the middle of the cells. 7. Spindle fibres pull the chromatids apart at the centromere to each end of the cell. 8. Nuclear membrane forms around each half set of chromosomes; cell divides between them. 9. The second cell division gives 4 unique gametes, each with half the normal number of chromosomes.

Meiosis and Genetic Diversity

When the pairs are lined up in the 1st division, the chromosomes can cross over each other and some DNA is exchanged between them. Which chromosome of each pair ends up in which cell is random. This shuffles the maternal and paternal chromosomes to give new combinations of chromosomes in gametes.

Summary of the meiosis cell division

What is its purpose? Where does it occur? Does it bring about genetic diversity? How many cell divisions? How many daughter cells are produced? Daughter cells are haploid 1n or diploid 2n?

Summary of the meiosis cell division

What is its purpose? To produce gametes for sexual reproduction Where does it occur? In the reproductive organs Does it bring about Yes. Maternal and paternal genetic diversity? chromosomes are shuffled AND crossing over gives new combinations of alleles. How many cell divisions? 2 How many daughter cells 4 are produced? Daughter cells are haploid haploid 1n or diploid 2n?

Gametes (egg and sperm) fuse at fertilisation to form a zygote, restoring the full number of chromosomes.


Fertilisation and Variation

Which two gametes fuse is random so offspring vary. Each zygote has a unique set of alleles (half from mother, half from father)

Compare and Contrast Homework: Essay (about 3-4 paragraphs) comparing and contrasting mitosis and meiosis Use planning sheet for ideas. Due Friday 21st of June

Determining Sex of Offspring

Sex determined by sex chromosomes: X and Y Female XX Male XY Though X and Y chromosomes are different they pair up and are separated during meiosis After meiosis:
A females eggs only contains X Half of a males sperm contains X and half Y

At fertilisation
An X sperm will make a girl An Y sperm will make a boy

Equal chance of a girl or boy being conceived since the ration is 1 : 1.