Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Spring 2011
Why sperm fertilizes egg only?
You may be confusing different meanings of the word 'fertilize'.
In this case, what is happening is the DNA (genetic material) in the
sperm merges with the DNA in the egg. Together, these provide a
complete set of genetic material for an organism, which allows the
"fertilized" egg to begin to grow.
Another meaning of the word fertilize, normally used with growing
plants, involves nourishing an existing organism. Although technically
the sperm is adding nutrients to the egg and the egg does divide and
grow into an organism, it's not the same process as fertilizing a
Hope this helps,
Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives
Update: June 2012