Syngamy vs Fertilization

One of the most vital life processes occurring in living organisms is the process of reproduction. Reproduction is the phenomenon whereby existing organisms give rise to a new organism through several events by transferring genetic instruction.

Syngamy and fertilization are synonymous with each other, and the difference lies in the fact that syngamy refers to the union of two gametes for the formation of a zygote, while fertilization is the process or act of being fertile.

Both syngamy and fertilization explain the union of male and female gametes for the formation of a zygote. Typically, syngamy is the union of haploid male and female gametes for the formation of a diploid embryo. It is a commonly seen mode of sexual reproduction in plants and animals.

Syngamy

  • It is the fusion of gametes that initiates the development of a new organism.
  • Through the process of gametogenesis, the male and female gametes experience union for the formation of a diploid zygote.
  • The female and male gametes are haploid as their precursor cells have experienced meiosis.
  • Thus, syngamy is the process of sexual reproduction of plants and animals occurring post gametogenesis.
  • Syngamy can be of types, hologamy, isogamy, and anisogamy, depending on the structure of gametes united at the time of fertilization. On the basis of the source of fusing gametes in plants, syngamy is of two types – exogamy and endogamy.

Fertilization

  • Fertilization involves the fusion of male and female gametes.
  • In animals, two types of fertilization can be seen – external fertilization and internal fertilization.
  • Fertilization involves the following stages – sperm preparation, sperm-egg recognition and binding, the fusion of sperm and egg, the union of sperm and egg pronuclei, and the action of the zygote.
  • After fertilization has occurred, the cell that is newly fertilized is referred to as the zygote. This zygote then passes into the fallopian tube and further into the uterus. The burrowing of the zygote into the lining of the uterus is referred to as implantation.

Comparing Fertilization and Syngamy

There exist two types of fertilization in animals – internal and external fertilization. Internal fertilization takes place in the body of the female entity after receiving a small number of male gametes from selected male counterparts. This type of fertilization can be seen in reptiles, mammals, ovoviviparous and viviparous animals, gymnosperms, pteridophytes, angiosperms and bryophytes.

On the other hand, external fertilization is the union of gametes outside the body of the female entity in an external environment. In order for fertilization to occur successfully, a large number of gametes must be produced. Algae and some oviparous entities experience external fertilization.

Syngamy is the fusion of gametes, which results in the formation of zygotes developing into offspring. In the absence of syngamy, a zygote will not be formed, and thereby a new entity is not formed.

All in all, to conclude, there is no vital difference between fertilization and syngamy; both are synonymous with each other. The participating gametes are haploid, which results in the formation of a diploid zygote. The different types of fertilization or syngamy can be categorised on the basis of traits of gametes that take part and in the approach of uniting.

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