Related topics: bacteria · fungus · pathogens

Cultivating matsutake, valuable edible fungi

Costing anywhere from 15 to 70 dollars per mushroom depending on the quality, matsutake mushrooms are some of the most valuable edible fungi in the world. Revered for their delicate scent, matsutake mushrooms are cooked in ...

Researchers discover hitchhiking bacteria

Imagine that you need to travel, but you don't have a car and you're dead broke. What do you do? Hitchhiking, of course! Leiden biologist found that certain bacteria use this very same tactic: their spores hop on motile bacteria ...

Two tough fungi discovered in Denmark: Devours flies from within

University of Copenhagen researchers have found and described two fungal species for the first time. The fungi infect adult flies and subsequently create a hole in the abdomen of their hosts' bodies. Infected flies then buzz ...

Short-term moisture removal can eliminate downy mildew of spinach

Downy mildew is the biggest threat to spinach production around the world. While the pathogen has a short life cycle (approximately a week), it can produce millions of spores during the spinach growing season. Overhead sprinkler ...

Fungal pathogen disables plant defense mechanism

Cabbage plants defend themselves against herbivores and pathogens by deploying a defensive mechanism called the mustard oil bomb: when the plant tissue is damaged, toxic isothiocyanates are formed and can effectively fend ...

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In biology, a spore is a reproductive structure that is adapted for dispersal and surviving for extended periods of time in unfavorable conditions. Spores form part of the life cycles of many bacteria, plants, algae, fungi and some protozoans. A chief difference between spores and seeds as dispersal units is that spores have very little stored food resources compared with seeds.

Spores are usually haploid and unicellular and are produced by meiosis in the sporangium by the sporophyte. Once conditions are favorable, the spore can develop into a new organism using mitotic division, producing a multicellular gametophyte, which eventually goes on to produce gametes.

Two gametes fuse to create a new sporophyte. This cycle is known as alternation of generations, but a better term is "biological life cycle", as there may be more than one phase and so it cannot be a direct alternation. Haploid spores produced by mitosis (known as mitospores) are used by many fungi for asexual reproduction.

Many ferns, especially those adapted to dry conditions, produce diploid spores. This form of asexual reproduction is called apogamy. It is a form of apomixis.

Spores are the units of asexual reproduction, because a single spore develops into a new organism. By contrast, gametes are the units of sexual reproduction, as two gametes need to fuse to create a new organism.

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