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zygote Definitions

noun

a fertilized egg cell.

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  • after insemination, the zygote takes about five days to travel down the fallopian tube into the uterus, which now becomes the womb. usually by the time the zygote reaches the womb, it has already divided into a ball of cells called a blastocyst (shown at left). the inner cells become the embryo and the outer cells will become the fetal support system during pregnancy. the new mother's womb has been prepared for implantation by the hormones of her menstrual cycle. the blastocyst implants into the nourishing lining of the womb and becomes an embryo. everydayhealth.com

  • the union of mature sperm and ovum, each bearing half the normal number of chromosomes, results in a single cell (the zygote) with a full number of chromosomes. the zygote undergoes a series of cell divisions (see mitosis) producing a multicellular embryo and finally a mature individual. in all sexually reproducing animals the production and maturation of the ovum, its fertilization, and its early embryonic development are essentially identical. factmonster.com

  • the union of mature sperm and ovum, each bearing half the normal number of chromosomes, results in a single cell (the zygote) with a full number of chromosomes. the zygote undergoes a series of cell divisions (see mitosis) producing a multicellular embryo and finally a mature individual. in all sexually reproducing animals the production and maturation of the ovum, its fertilization, and its early embryonic development are essentially identical. infoplease.com

  • during fertilization, the sperm and egg unite in one of the fallopian tubes to form a zygote. then the zygote travels down the fallopian tube, where it becomes a morula. once it reaches the uterus, the morula becomes a blastocyst. the blastocyst then burrows into the uterine lining — a process called implantation. mayoclinic.org

  • lethal gene, zygotic: a gene that is fatal for the zygote, the cell formed by the union of a sperm and an egg. the zygote would normally develop into an embryo, as instructed by the genetic material within the unified cell. however, a zygotic lethal gene kills prenatal development at its earliest point. a zygotic lethal gene is a mutated version of a normal gene that is essential to the survival of the zygote. medicinenet.com

  • monozygotic (mz) twins, also called identical twins, occur when a single egg cell is fertilized by a single sperm cell. the resulting zygote splits into two very early in development, leading to the formation of two separate embryos. mz twins occur in 3 to 4 per 1,000 births worldwide. research suggests that most cases of mz twinning are not caused by genetic factors. however, a few families with a larger-than-expected number of mz twins have been reported, which indicates that genetics may play a role. it is possible that genes involved in sticking cells together (cell adhesion) may contribute to mz twinning, although this hypothesis has not been confirmed. most of the time, the cause of mz twinning is unknown. medlineplus.gov

  • in pronuclear transfer, the nucleus of a fertilized egg zygote is transplanted into a matched donor zygote that has had its nucleus removed. in spindle transfer, the maternal nucleus is transferred into a donor egg that's had its nucleus removed. in both methods, the mother's main genetic material is retained, while a donor provides mitochondria that are free from genetic disease. medpagetoday.com

  • if a sperm penetrates the egg, fertilization results. tiny hairlike cilia lining the fallopian tube propel the fertilized egg (zygote) through the tube toward the uterus. the cells of the zygote divide repeatedly as the zygote moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus. the zygote enters the uterus in 3 to 5 days. merckmanuals.com