Animal spermatids and primary oocytes initially have typical centrosomes comprising pairs of centrioles and pericentriolar fibrous centrosomal proteins. These somatic cell–like centrosomes are partially or completely degenerated during gametogenesis. Centrosome reduction during spermiogenesis comprises attenuation of microtubule nucleation function, loss of pericentriolar material, and centriole degeneration. Centrosome reduction during oogenesis is due to complete degeneration of centrioles, which leads to dispersal of the pericentriolar centrosomal proteins, loss of replicating capacity of the spindle poles, and switching to acentrosomal mode of spindle organization. Oocyte centrosome reduction plays an important role in preventing parthenogenetic embryogenesis and balancing centrosome number in the embryonic cells.
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