Differentiate between Male and Female Heterogamety

Heterogametic sex is found in a number of species where the two sex gametes produced in an individual are different from each other. It can be seen in both male and female, and hence the name male and female heterogamety. The most common example, for your understanding, are the human male sex gametes, XY while the female produces XX gametes. Likewise, this heterogamety is seen in other organisms as well. Let us take a look at the differences between male and female heterogamety for a better perspective.

Male Heterogamety

Female Heterogamety

Definition

When a male organism produces two different types of sex gametes, the phenomenon is known as male heterogamety.

When a female organism produces two different types of sex gametes, the phenomenon is known as female heterogamety.

Examples

  • Human males producing XY sex gametes.
  • Drosophila males producing XY sex gametes.
  • Female birds producing ZW sex gametes.
  • Female snakes producing ZW sex gametes.

Importance of Heterogametic Sex

The heterogametic sex is responsible for sex determination in these organisms. Taking the example of humans, females produce the same gametes, i.e, XX but males produce XY. Fusion of one female X with the male Y gives a male offspring and fusion of female X with male X gives a female offspring.

Male heterogamety in humans is responsible for sex determination of the offspring.

Heterogamety, in the case of grasshoppers and some other insects, is a bit different. The males have only one X chromosome, they have an XO system of sex determination. The O signifies absence of a sex chromosme.

Explore BYJU’S Biology to learn more.

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FAQs

What is female homogamety?

Female homogamety is when the females produce a single type of sex chromosme as in human females.

Does a grasshopper have male heterogamety?

Yes, male grasshoppers have heterogamety but they have a single X chromosome, their sex gamete denotion is XO.

What is homogamety and heterogamety?

Homogamety is the condition where an organism produces a single type of sex chromosme, whereas in heterogamety an individual producs two different types of sex chromosomes.

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