The word spore is often used without us knowing exactly what it defines. We know that it is a type of plant reproduction but … what are its most important characteristics? What exactly are they for? Do only plants have spores? The doubts around them are diverse and some beliefs are false; like only plants use them. Did you know that fungi and other living things also depend on the use of spores?
If you want to learn more about these, join us in this AgroCorrn article in which we tell you what spores are , what they are for and what living beings have them.
- What are spores and what are they for
- Plants that reproduce by spores
- Algae that have spores
- Fungal spores
- Bacterial spores
What are spores and what are they for?
The spore is a reproductive cell that, mainly, some plants and fungi can produce and that has the ability to divide successively to end up forming a new individual. These are cells that do not need any other individual to divide and end up forming a new plant or fungus, so they are part of a type of asexual reproduction .
Plant spores are usually produced in structures that are called sporangia . Not all plants can reproduce by spores; only sporophytes do it , which is how the species that can resort to this type of reproduction are called. In this other AgroCorrn article you can get to know Plants with asexual reproduction: characteristics and examples .
Plants that reproduce by spores
All non-vascular plants, which are the most primitive, reproduce by spores. This is the oldest reproductive mechanism that can be found in the plant kingdom. These non-vascular plants are:
Mosses, bryophyte plants with spores
Mosses tend to form dense and thick mantles that cover the surfaces on which they are fixed with their rhizoids, which are the small structures that function as roots. They are very important because they help minimize soil erosion.
Bryophyte plants: liverworts and hornworts
Liverworts, meanwhile, get their name from their resemblance to the human liver organ. They tend to occupy large areas, and grow in sunless and humid areas. Hornbills are very small plants, which never exceed heights of more than 3 cm. Their structures are primitive and simple, and remarkably few species remain to represent them.
However, bryophytes are not the only plants to reproduce by spores: pteridophytes are vascular plants and also use this method of reproduction, since they lack flowers and seeds. The most representative of the pteridophytes are ferns, which have almost 12,000 species, in addition to horsetails and some more.
In these other articles we talk to you in detail about Bryophyte Plants: examples and characteristics and Pteridophyte Plants: what they are, types and examples .
Algae that have spores
Algae can reproduce both sexually and asexually. In the case of asexual reproduction , they use spores for this. The simplest algae use the spores in a process that bears many similarities to the asexual phase of reproduction in plants, using sea currents instead of air currents to spread their spores throughout the territory.
Learn more about them in this other post about Similarities and differences between plants and algae .
Fungi are also another group that uses spores for their reproduction. These, in fact, are often classified by the spore-producing structures themselves in fungi : Here are some of them according to this classification:
- Ascospora: are those fungi that produce their spores in asci, a type of sex cell.
- Basidiospora: these fungi produce their spores in basidia, microscopic structures that can be found in them.
- Conidium: they are a type of asexual spores that are produced in the so-called conidiophores.
- Ecidiospora: these spores are produced in the genus Puccinia, in which they alternate in their production with basidiospores.
- Sporangiospora: produced, as in plants, in sporangia.
- Glomerospora – These spores are produced only by glomeromycetes, a division of fungi.
- Teliospora: they occur in some basidia.
- Zygospora: these originate from zygosporangia.
- Zoospora: only some primitive fungi such as opistosporidia and chytrids produce these flagellate-type espes.
Finally, some bacteria have the ability to reproduce by spores . In these cases, it is common for each cell to develop a single spore and they use this type of reproduction as a means of subsistence in unfavorable environments, rather than as a habitual reproduction method. Some bacteria can induce a spore state to protect themselves for a time against thermal variations, lack of food or water, or even factors such as salt, extreme pH or radiation.
The three types of bacterial spores are:
- The endospores.
- The exospores.
- The acinets.
If you want to read more articles similar to What are spores , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .
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