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Spores


A spore is a primitive, unicellular, usually haploid reproduction unit. Spores can develop into new organisms either asexually through mitosis, or through sexual reproduction by combining with other spores. Spores do not have stored food reserves like seeds so they require more optimal conditions to germinate. However, in their dormant state they are more resistant to unfavorable conditions, and require less energy to start mitosis. Spores are adapted for dispersion and survival in harsh conditions for extended periods of time. They are usually generated in large numbers. They are part of the life cycles of ferns, algae, fungi, etc.

Mitospores: asexually produced spores that are the products of mitosis. Common in algae and fungi but do not occur in higher plant groups.
Meiospores: haploid spores that are the products of meiosis. Meiospores can give rise to a haploid daughter cell or a haploid individual.

Plant types by the meiospores they produce:

Homosporous: plants that produce morphologically identical meiospores.
Heterosporous: plants that produce meiospores with different sizes and sexes. Includes all seed plants, a few ferns and some lycophytes.
Microspores: small meiospores that produce male gametophytes (microgametophytes).
Example: pollen in angiosperms.
Megaspores: large meiospores that produce female gametophytes (megagametophytes).
Example: ovule in angiosperms.




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