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Question Video: Identifying the Cells Produced in Meiosis I in the Seminiferous Tubules of the Testes Biology

What cells are produced as a result of the first meiotic division inside the seminiferous tubules?

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Video Transcript

What cells are produced as a result of the first meiotic division inside the seminiferous tubules?

This question is asking us to identify the cells that are produced from the first meiotic division within the seminiferous tubules of a biological male’s testes. The seminiferous tubules are the site of sperm production, which is otherwise known as spermatogenesis. Overall, spermatogenesis aims to convert diploid primary germ cells into haploid mature sperm cells, which might be able to fertilize a biological female’s egg cell. Let’s take a look at an overview of the different stages in spermatogenesis so we can work out what these cells that are produced in the first division of meiosis are.

The first stage of spermatogenesis is known as the multiplication phase, which begins before birth while the biological male is still in utero. It includes many mitotic divisions of the diploid primary germ cells. Remember that mitosis is a type of cell division where one cell divides to produce two new cells that are genetically identical. Eventually, these mitotic divisions form cells called spermatogonia, one of which is called a spermatogonium. A large number of these diploid spermatogonia are formed just following birth of the biological male. Spermatogonia then enter the second stage of spermatogenesis, the growth phase. The spermatogonia also divide by mitosis and differentiate into diploid primary spermatocytes.

During the growth phase, the primary spermatocytes replicate their genetic information so that they now have 46 replicated chromosomes in each cell. This means that they are ready for meiosis. Remember that meiosis is the type of cell division that produces four genetically different cells with half the number of chromosomes. It’s important in the production of gametes, which are egg cells in biological females and in biological males, the sperm cells that are produced through spermatogenesis in the seminiferous tubules. The primary spermatocytes undergo meiosis during the maturation phase of spermatogenesis. You may recall that meiosis consists of two stages: meiosis I and meiosis II. It’s important to recall that meiosis halves the number of chromosomes in the developing sperm cells.

In meiosis I, which is the first meiotic division that we’re being asked about in this particular question, the diploid primary spermatocytes are converted into haploid secondary spermatocytes. In meiosis II, the secondary spermatocytes are converted into spermatids, which are also haploid. The spermatids then enter the final stage, metamorphosis, during which they develop into mature sperm cells. Therefore, the cells that are produced from the first meiotic division inside the seminiferous tubules are secondary spermatocytes.

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