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Pachytene Stage: The stage in the first meiotic prophase, following ZYGOTENE STAGE, when CROSSING OVER between homologous CHROMOSOMES begins.Spermatocytes: Male germ cells derived from SPERMATOGONIA. The euploid primary spermatocytes undergo MEIOSIS and give rise to the haploid secondary spermatocytes which in turn give rise to SPERMATIDS.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Meiosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Synaptonemal Complex: The three-part structure of ribbon-like proteinaceous material that serves to align and join the paired homologous CHROMOSOMES. It is formed during the ZYGOTENE STAGE of the first meiotic division. It is a prerequisite for CROSSING OVER.Meiotic Prophase I: The prophase of the first division of MEIOSIS (in which homologous CHROMOSOME SEGREGATION occurs). It is divided into five stages: leptonema, zygonema, PACHYNEMA, diplonema, and diakinesis.Chromosome Pairing: The alignment of CHROMOSOMES at homologous sequences.Spermatogonia: Euploid male germ cells of an early stage of SPERMATOGENESIS, derived from prespermatogonia. With the onset of puberty, spermatogonia at the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubule proliferate by mitotic then meiotic divisions and give rise to the haploid SPERMATOCYTES.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Infertility, Male: The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.Germ Cells: The reproductive cells in multicellular organisms at various stages during GAMETOGENESIS.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Prophase: The first phase of cell nucleus division, in which the CHROMOSOMES become visible, the CELL NUCLEUS starts to lose its identity, the SPINDLE APPARATUS appears, and the CENTRIOLES migrate toward opposite poles.Sertoli Cells: Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.Seminiferous Tubules: The convoluted tubules in the TESTIS where sperm are produced (SPERMATOGENESIS) and conveyed to the RETE TESTIS. Spermatogenic tubules are composed of developing germ cells and the supporting SERTOLI CELLS.Seminiferous Epithelium: The epithelium lining the seminiferous tubules composed of primary male germ cells (SPERMATOGONIA) and supporting SERTOLI CELLS. As SPERMATOGENESIS proceeds, the developing germ cells migrate toward the lumen. The adluminal compartment, the inner two thirds of the tubules, contains SPERMATOCYTES and the more advanced germ cells.Crossing Over, Genetic: The reciprocal exchange of segments at corresponding positions along pairs of homologous CHROMOSOMES by symmetrical breakage and crosswise rejoining forming cross-over sites (HOLLIDAY JUNCTIONS) that are resolved during CHROMOSOME SEGREGATION. Crossing-over typically occurs during MEIOSIS but it may also occur in the absence of meiosis, for example, with bacterial chromosomes, organelle chromosomes, or somatic cell nuclear chromosomes.