For sperm to fertilize eggs, they must first bind to the thick zona pellucida (ZP) that surrounds the plasma membrane of all unfertilized mammalian eggs. An extensive literature suggests that mouse sperm recognize and bind to a specific ZP glycoprotein called mZP3. However, the role of individual ZP glycoproteins in binding of mouse sperm to eggs has been called into question by recent transgenic experiments with null mice. Results of such experiments have been interpreted to mean that binding of sperm depends on the supramolecular structure of the ZP, not on an individual ZP glycoprotein. Here, it is argued that results of these transgenic experiments actually are consistent with the prevailing view of gamete recognition that implicates a specific ZP glycoprotein in both binding of mouse sperm to eggs and induction of the acrosome reaction. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.