noun, plural: polar bodies
The cell that results from the asymmetric division of an oocyte.
In animals and humans, polar bodies are produced after every meiotic division. They are relatively smaller in size due to less cytoplasm compared to the gametocyte that will become the ovum. This is essential so that much of the cytoplasm is available and the chromosomal content is halved at the time of fertilization. The polar bodies will eventually degenerate.
In plants, the polar bodies may also be fertilized by a sperm cell (aside from the ovum fertilized by another sperm cell). The fertilized polar bodies will develop and give rise to the endosperm while the fertilized ovum will become the plant embryo.
Also called: polar cell