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Question Video: Recalling the Cells That Divide to Form Spermatogonia Biology

Which cells in the seminiferous tubules divide by mitosis to form spermatogonia?

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Video Transcript

Which cells in the seminiferous tubules divide by mitosis to form spermatogonia? (A) Primary spermatocytes, (B) spermatids, (C) Sertoli cells, (D) interstitial cells, or (E) primordial germ cells.

The seminiferous tubules are located in the testes of the biological male and are the site of sperm production, which is sometimes known as spermatogenesis. Overall, spermatogenesis converts diploid primordial germ cells, which are sometimes called primary germ cells, into haploid mature sperm cells.

You might recall that a diploid cell is one, like most other body cells, that contains two sets of chromosomes, which is often represented as 2n. In humans, diploid cells have 46 chromosomes in total. But here we have simplified the diploid chromosome number in the primordial germ cells to show just four chromosomes.

A haploid cell, on the other hand, contains half this number of chromosomes, which is often represented as n. This haploid chromosome number is 23 in humans. But in this diagram, it is represented as two chromosomes.

The formation of haploid gametes, which are the sperm cells in biological males and egg cells in biological females, is important, as when they fuse together in fertilization, they form a diploid zygote with a full set of chromosomes. Let’s take a look at the cells that are produced in the stages of spermatogenesis so we can work out which cells divide by mitosis to form spermatogonia.

The first stage of spermatogenesis is called the multiplication phase, and it involves diploid primordial germ cells dividing by mitosis. The cells that are produced are called spermatogonia, or a singular spermatogonium. And these cells are also diploid as they were formed through mitosis. The spermatogonia then enter the growth phase, where they divide by mitosis again and are converted into diploid primary spermatocytes.

The primary spermatocytes then enter the maturation phase, where they begin meiosis, which you might recall halves the number of chromosomes in a cell, as it includes two cellular divisions: meiosis one and meiosis two. Meiosis one converts the primary spermatocytes into haploid secondary spermatocytes, and meiosis two converts the secondary spermatocytes into haploid spermatids. The spermatids then specialize to form mature sperm cells through the final stage of spermatogenesis, the metamorphosis phase.

If we take a look back at the question, we are looking for the cells in the seminiferous tubules that divide by mitosis to form spermatogonia. We can see that the correct answer is option (E), primordial germ cells.

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