noun, plural: amphimixes
The union or the fusion of the male and the female gametes during sexual reproduction
Sexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction that involves fusion of female gamete (ovum) and male gamete (spermatozoon). The fusion of these gametes during occurs during fertilization. The result of the fusion is the formation of a zygote. The zygote develops into an offspring that is genetically distinct from the parent organisms. This is in contrast to asexual reproduction, which is a mode of reproduction that does not involve the fusion of gametes to produce an offspring.
A synonymous term for sexual reproduction is amphimixis. However, the more precise definition of amphimixis is the union or the fusion between the male and the female gametes in sexual reproduction.
Amphimixis should not be confused with automixis or apomixis, which are both associated with asexual reproduction. Automixis is a type of parthenogenesis characterized by gamete formation through meiosis and self-fertilization. The gametes undergo meiosis and therefore are haploid. Apomixis is one in which the mature egg cells produced through mitosis develop directly into embryos.
Word origin: amphi– + Greek mixis (“a blending”), from mignunai (“to mingle”)