|Why is it important that the end result of the
process of meiosis is sex cells that contain half
the amount of DNA that is in body cells?|
|Question Date: 2016-03-14|
Humans have 2 copies of each chromosome, except
for the sex chromosomes where females have X and
X, but males have X and Y. When sex cells,
which have one copy of each chromosome, combine
they create an embryo that will become many body
cells later. If meiosis didn’t create half the
amount of DNA of body cells, than sex cells would
have 2 copies of each chromosome and the embryo
would have 4 copies of each chromosome. Then the
next generation embryo would have 8 copies, then
16 copies, and so on. So to keep the number of
chromosomes from not doubling each time, it’s
important for sex cells to have half the number of
chromosomes as body cells. This way, when two
sex cells combine, they create a body cell with
the right number of chromosomes.
Well, in plants, meiosis makes spores, not sex
cells, but the process is the same.
If you didn't have half the DNA, then fuse the
cells together to make a zygote, you would wind up
doubling the amount of DNA in a cell with every
generation. Pretty soon the cell wouldn't be able
to hold all of the DNA it would be building up,
and you would be sterile.
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