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Fertilization

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Definition

noun, plural: fertilizations

(biology)

(1) A process in sexual reproduction that involves the union of male (sperm) and female (ovum) gametes (each with a single, haploid set of chromosomes) to produce a diploid zygote.

(2) Fecundation or impregnation of animals and plants (e.g. by insemination and pollination, respectively).

(Science: agriculture) The enrichment of soil (generally by applying fertilizer or organic material) for crop production.


Supplement

(biology) Fertilization may be internal, when it occurs within the female body, or external, when it occurs outside. The process includes plasmogamy (the union of the cytoplasm of the gametes) followed by karyogamy (the union of the nuclei of two gametes).


Word origin: From the contraction of fertilize, fertiliz + -ation.

Related forms: fertilize (verb), fertilizational (adjective).
Related terms: fertilization in vitro, fertilization membrane, self-fertilization.

Synonym: fecundation, syngamy.