If gametes were not reduced to become haploid during meiosis, and a sperm fertilized an egg, what would be the number of the resulting new organism? 8n, 4n, 2n, or 1n 

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mr-mayonnaise eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During meiosis a cell with a number of chromosomes (n) creates 4 identical offspring with half the number of chromosomes (0.5n). In humans for example we begin as a diploid cell with 46 chromosomes. Once split into haploid cells we have 23 chromosomes. After a sperm cell and an egg cell meet we would have a pairing of 2 haploid cells, bringing us to a full number of chromosomes (46). 

The other form of cell division is known as Mitosis, and through this method we begin with 1 cell that starts with the diploid number of chromosomes (n) and creates 2 identical daughter cells, each with n chromosomes. This question proposes that instead of completing a phase of meiosis the cell would instead undergo mitosis. At this point the cell would have enough genetic material to continue growth and thus we would have 2 identical children with a net gain of 1 cell. The egg and sperm cell would never have to meet and the organism would instead reproduce by asexual reproduction. 

Let's suppose that the egg and sperm cell do meet and share genetic information. In humans this would result in a whopping 92 chromosomes, enough genetic material for 2 human offspring. Best case scenario is that you would create 2 twins from the information and have 2 identical offspring. 

So your final number would be 2n offspring in either instance. Hope this helped! 

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