Related topics: bacteria · fungus · pathogens

How do water mold spores swim?

Oomycetes, also known as water molds, are pathogenic microorganisms that resemble fungi and are responsible for a group of diseases affecting several plant species. To reach and infect plants, the zoospores—i.e., self-propelled ...

Uncovering the spread of coffee leaf rust disease

Coffee is one of the world's most popular drinks, yet there are still many unknowns in the coffee-growing business. Now, researchers from Japan have shed new light on the nature of a disease that seriously affects coffee ...

Japanese squirrels can consume 'poisonous' mushrooms

Associate Professor Suetsugu Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science) and independent photographer Gomi Koichi have observed a Japanese squirrel (Sciurus lis) routinely feeding on well-known species of poisonous ...

Compost is a major source of pathogenic aspergillus spores

Fourteen percent of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates cultured from garden soils were resistant to an agricultural triazole antifungal drug, tebuconazole. Tebuconazole resistance confers resistance to medical triazoles that ...

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Spore

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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