This question is about human physiology and gametogenesis. A spermatozoid is not necessarily the direct "offspring" of a diploid cell. Stated differently, a spermatozoid cell can be the offspring cell of another haploid cell. I am saying "can be" and "is not necessarily", but the correct formulation might be "always is". A given spermatozoid might eventually be the descendent of 1000 generations of haploid cells before (going back in time) finding the diploid ancestor (the one who underwent meiosis II). I'd expect the same to be true for ovules although I'd expect that a given ovule have fewer haploid descendent before (going back in time) finding the diploid cell.


  • How many haploid generations preceded a typical spermatozoid/ovule that could eventually fertilize an egg?

  • How does this answer vary with age and sex?

In its most beautiful form, the question is:

  • What is the distribution of the number of mitotic divisions that happened in the father/mother of a given individual?

Any answer that would offer a step toward answering these questions are welcome!

  • $\begingroup$ You may have a look at this post. Haploid gametes do not naturally undergo mitosis but haploid stem cell can be produced, that can give rise to an offspring. $\endgroup$
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 4:51
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have evidence that haploid gametes naturally undergo mitosis? I was under the impression that they do not undergo mitosis naturally at all. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @March Ho I think OP meant Meiosis II ? $\endgroup$
    – Rover Eye
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ I don't fully understand the comments. When I say meiosis I mean meiosis II indeed (I edited the post). I supposed that after meiosis II mitosis occured to increase the number of gametes but I might be totally wrong (I think I remember that from a Bachelor course). $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 23:40


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .