Which of the following best
explains why sperm cells contain many mitochondria? (A) Sperm cells contain many
mitochondria to provide them with energy needed for movement. (B) Sperm cells contain many
mitochondria to transfer genetic material during fertilization. (C) Sperm cells contain many
mitochondria to allow the sperm to produce large amounts of glucose. Or (D) sperm cells contain many
mitochondria to break down the coating of the egg cell when they combine.
Sperm cells have a unique shape and
arrangement of biological components, which we refer to as their structure. The main function of a sperm cell
is to fertilize an egg cell as part of reproduction. The function and structure of all
cells are highly related.
So, how does the structure of a
sperm cell help it to perform its intended function? Sperm cells possess a long tail, or
flagellum. The flagellum helps the sperm swim
through the vagina and uterus to reach and fertilize an egg cell. In the head of a sperm cell is a
nucleus. The nucleus is a membrane-bound
organelle which contains the genetic material of the sperm cell.
Note that a sperm cell is haploid,
meaning it only has half of the genetic material of a typical body cell. This is so when it combines with a
haploid egg cell during fertilization, a diploid cell is created, which contains the
correct amount of genetic material needed to develop into a human.
The acrosome in the head of the
sperm cell contains enzymes. When the sperm cell reaches an egg
cell, these enzymes help break down the coating of the egg cell. This allows the sperm to penetrate
the egg cell so the genetic material of both cells can combine. Finally, the mitochondria are
organelles which act as the site of cellular respiration.
Cellular respiration is the process
by which cells release energy from the breakdown of glucose and other sugars. The sperm cell needs a lot of
energy to reach the egg cell and therefore contains many mitochondria.
So, now we know that the correct
answer choice is (A). Sperm cells contain many
mitochondria to provide them with energy needed for movement.