What is Gametogenesis and its purpose

Gametogenesis is the process of forming gametes or reproductive cells in organisms that reproduce sexually. In humans, gametogenesis occurs in the reproductive organs, namely the ovaries in women and the testes in men.

What’s that

Gametogenesis is the process of forming gametes or reproductive cells (spermatozoa in men and ovum in women) in the reproductive organs. The main purpose of gametogenesis is to prepare reproductive cells to be used in fertilization.


Following are the steps in gametogenesis in humans:

  1. In women, the process of gametogenesis is called oogenesis. When a baby girl is born, her ovaries already contain egg cells called primary oocytes. During puberty, some primary oocytes will undergo a process of development into more mature secondary oocytes.
  2. Every month, one secondary oocyte will be released from the ovary in a process called ovulation. If not fertilized by sperm, these secondary oocytes will degenerate and be released through menstruation.
  3. If the secondary oocyte is fertilized by sperm, this process will continue into fertilization and form a zygote, which will develop into an embryo.
  4. In men, the process of gametogenesis is called spermatogenesis. In the testes, spermatogonium cells undergo mitotic division and produce primary spermatocytes.
  5. Next, primary spermatocytes undergo meiotic division, producing secondary spermatocytes. Secondary spermatocytes will divide again into spermatids, which will then undergo a maturation process into spermatozoa or sperm.
  6. Mature spermatozoa will enter the male reproductive tract and can be fertilized by an egg if they meet an egg that has been released during ovulation.

Thus, gametogenesis is the process of forming gametes or reproductive cells in organisms that reproduce sexually. In women, the process is called oogenesis, while in men, the process is called spermatogenesis.


Following are some of the specific purposes of gametogenesis:

  1. Fulfillment of Reproductive Function:
  • Gametogenesis aims to produce quality reproductive cells capable of combining genetic material from male and female parents. This process is necessary so that reproduction can occur and offspring can be born.
  1. Formation of Haploid Cells:
  • During gametogenesis, the resulting cells become haploid cells, meaning each cell only has half the normal number of chromosomes. This is important because during fertilization, the sperm and ovum unite to form a zygote cell with a normal number of chromosomes.
  1. Screening and Selection of Genetic Material:
  • During meiosis, the process of cell division that occurs during gametogenesis, genetic material is rotated. This produces the genetic variation necessary for the sustainability and adaptation of the species to its environment.
  1. Abnormal Cell Removal:
  • During gametogenesis, cells that experience genetic abnormalities or mutations are often eliminated or do not reach the mature reproductive cell stage. This aims to ensure that only normal and healthy reproductive cells are involved in fertilization.
  1. Reproductive Cell Development and Differentiation:
  • During gametogenesis, reproductive cells undergo differentiation, during which they develop specialized features necessary for reproductive function. In men, sperm cells develop tail structures for active movement, while in women, ovum cells contain nutritional reserves to support the early embryo.

Overall, the goal of gametogenesis is to ensure that the reproductive cells produced are of sufficient quality to form new offspring and support the survival of the species.