Sex Cells & Meiosis
“Fertilization – the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism – is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.” Marcello Fet. al., ertilization, ADV. EXP. BIOL. 757:321 (2013)
Somatic cells (body cells) contain the full compliment of DNA - one copy form each parent. Sex cells, on the other hand, must contain only a sub-set of the DNA so that, upon union, the full compliment is regained. There must be a mechanism similar to Mitosis that reduces the number of chromosomes whil simuntaneously introduces variability. The full value of sexual reproduction is the production of variable offspring (offspring that is different from either parent).