Term Definition
somatic cell cell that makes up all of the body tissues and organs, except gametes
gamete a haploid reproductive cell that unites with another haploid reproductive cell to form a zygote
homologous chromosome chromosomes that have the same length, appearance, and copies of genes, although alleles may differ
autosome any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome
sex chromosome one of the pair of chromosomes that determine the sex of an individual
sexual reproduction reproduction in which gametes from two parents unite
fertilization the union of a male and female gamete to form a zygote
diploid a cell that contains two haploid sets of chromosomes
haploid describes a cell, nucleus, or organism that has only one set of unpaired chromosomes
meiosis a process in cell division during which the number of chromosomes decreases to half the original number by two divisions of the nucleus, which results in the production of sex cells (gametes or spores)
gametogenesis process by which gametes are produced through the combination of meiosis and other maturational changes
sperm male gamete
egg female gamete
polar body one of the small cells that separate from an oocyte during meiosis, that have little cytoplasm, and that are ultimately discarded
Chapter 6

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