Friday 22 April 2011
Definition: A spermatocyte is a male gametocyte, derived from a spermatogonium (spermatogonia), which is in the developmental stage of spermatogenesis during which meiosis occurs. It is located in the seminiferous tubules of the testis.
The spermatogenesis is the developmental process which leads to the production of male gametes, termed spermatozoa or sperm.
Spermatogonial stem cells divide by mitosis to form primary spermatocytes.
The primary spermatocyte is initially diploid and undergoes meiosis.
After the first meiotic division, the resulting daughter cells are termed secondary spermatocytes. These undergo the second meiotic division giving rise to haploid spermatids.
Spermatids mature further in a developmental process called spermiogenesis, becoming spermatozoa.
Spermatozoa are characterized by an elongated shape with a compact nucleus and a flagellum.
Additional maturation takes place in the epididymis, where the sperm become motile.
After capacitation in the female reproductive tract, sperm are capable of fertilization.