A reproductive cell which can unite with another to form a zygote, resulting in fertilization. Each gamete contains chromosomes. Pollen and sperm are male gametes, the egg is female.

Mature male or female reproductive cell (sperm or ovum) with a haploid set of chromosomes (23 for humans).

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

Gam"ete (gam"Et; ga*mEt"; the latter usually in compounds), n. [Gr. gameth` wife, or game`ths husband, fr. gamei^n to marry.] (Biol.)

A sexual cell or germ cell; a conjugating cell which unites with another of like or unlike character to form a new individual. In Bot., gamete designates esp. the similar sex cells of the lower thallophytes which unite by conjugation, forming a zygospore. The gametes of higher plants are of two sorts, sperm (male) and egg (female); their union is called fertilization, and the resulting zygote an oöspore. In Zoöl., gamete is most commonly used of the sexual cells of certain Protozoa, though also extended to the germ cells of higher forms.

 

© Webster 1913

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