noun, plural: zygotes

A cell in diploid state following fertilization or union of haploid male sex cell (e.g. sperm) and haploid female sex cell (e.g. ovum).


To be precise, zygote is the term used to refer to the cell as a result of the fusion of two haploid nuclei during fertilization until the first cleavage. When the zygote starts to divide and multiply, it is called an embryo.

Word origin: from Greek zugōtos ‘joined’, from zugoun ‘to join’.

Related forms: zygotic (adjective).

Synonym: zygocyte.
Compare: embryo.
See also: copula, zygogenesis, monozygotic twins, heterozygosity, homozygous.

Please contribute to this project, if you have more information about this term feel free to edit this page

This page was last modified on 25 August 2008, at 09:36. This page has been accessed 173,178 times. 
What links here | Related changes | Permanent link