General Fertilisation Overview:
Detailed Fertilisation Overview:
- Sperm Capacitation – it literally translates to the preparation of sperm for fertilisation. The sperm becomes hyperactive and its motility increases. This step ensures that the sperm is in ideal condition to fertilise the egg.
- Sperm-Zona Pellucida Binding– This is the next step if the sperm finds an ovum. Sperm binds with Zona Pellucida layer of an ovum and a receptor-ligand reaction occurs. After this binding process occurs, no other sperm can enter through this layer.
- Penetration of Zona Pellucida– The shape of sperm’s head helps in cutting through the layers of ovum. It further activates growth of ovum which is arrested at one stage of meiosis which only resumes after the egg gets fertilised.
- Acrosome Reaction– The head of sperm (acrosome) contains various Zona Pellucida digesting enzymes which help it in deeper penetration into the layers of ovum. The head of sperm diminishes with deeper penetration. It is crucial for sperm to retain its acrosomal content before it fertilises the ovum.
- Cortical Reaction– Egg activation takes place at this stage as the egg is previously frozen at metaphase stage in meiotic division II. A rapid development of the ovum takes place and cortical granules fuse with Zona Pellucida along with exocytosis.
- Zona Reaction – The Zona Pellucida layer hardens and this completes the process of fertilisation.
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