The mechanism of giving birth to a new creature from an existent organism is known as reproduction. It’s an important thing that determines the presence of life on the planet. This biological concept applies to all living things on the planet. Regardless of which kingdom they are a part of. It is vital to keep the races of many species going. Only the oldest living species were involved in this process. Every organism’s metabolism is unique. This is due to their different structure and set of characteristics. These characteristics also influence how they reproduce. Plant reproduction is the process of creating a new plant from an existing one. They can reproduce through either sexual or asexual techniques. This, too, is dependent on the structure and characteristics of the plant in consideration. The presence of seeds is the most significant distinction between the methods of reproduction approaches. In this blog post, we’ll look at how spores are formed and some examples of plants that reproduce using spores.
What Is Meant By The Term ‘Asexual Reproduction?
Asexual reproduction does not involve the union of male and female zygote and results in organisms that are genetically similar to their parents. This strategy of reproduction can be pursued in two ways. They are termed: Natural and Artificial Methods. Some of the natural methods of reproduction involve budding, vegetative propagation, fragmentation, and spore formation.
How do Plants Reproduce by Spores?
Vegetation, algae, and other microscopic creatures, as well as fungi, use spores as reproductive cells. They are usually single-celled organisms with the capability to handle new ones. In contrast to zygotes in sexual reproduction, spores need not merge in order to reproduce. Spores are used by organisms to reproduce asexually. Spores are generated in bacteria as well, although bacterial spores are rarely used for reproduction. These spores are latent and function as a barrier between bacteria and harsh atmospheric conditions. Spores are the biological component of ‘lower plants’ that do not mature. Spores are seen in those plants that do not develop well after the reproduction process. While fungi, algae, and even certain bacteria seek to pass on their DNA, they create spores. Consider them seeds: they are designed to develop a new plant and everything they require to thrive in the right atmosphere. Spores are an asexual type of reproduction; they are formed without the requirement for a plant or fungus to reproduce with some other plant or fungus. The organism then delivers the spores into the environment, where they can grow and flourish. Spores are frequently created through a process known as sporogenesis, which simply means “spore creation,” and is performed via mitosis, or cellular reproduction. The following are some of the features of spore formation:
- A spore is not the same as a seed. A spore is a single-celled gametophyte cell, while a seed comprises a growing embryo.
- After propagation, spores invariably produce haploid gametophytes, whereas the seed produces diploid sporophytes.
Characteristics of Spores
Spores are usually of the haploid type and are unicellular organisms. The spores are developed by the process of meiosis. It grows in the sporangium part of a diploid sporophyte. Spores can reproduce and produce a new organism by the procedure of mitotic cell division. The most common example of finding spores in everyday life is the bread mold. Bread mold (a fungal plant) spores are almost constantly abundant in the atmosphere. If we lay aside a damp piece of bread for several days, spores from the bread mold plant in the airdrop on the damp bread and develop, forming new fungal plants. The bread mold plants appear as a white cottony mass that covers the bread piece at first, then turns black. With a magnifying lens, we can see the bread mold plant spreading on the surface of this piece of bread.
7 Examples of Plants That Reproduce By Spores
Ferns are among the most well-known groups of plants that develop without plant seeds. Ferns possess roots, stems, and fronds, which are big, fluffy leaves. There are many distinct types of ferns around the world, and some of them can develop to be far more than 65 feet (20 meters) tall in tropical woods. The fern’s leaves wilt when the temperature drops in the fall, but the roots and stems are capable of surviving underground. So, if plants can’t generate seeds, how do they produce offspring? Plants that do not produce seeds can produce spores. Male shoots produce distinct reproductive cells, while female shoots produce egg cells in spore-containing trees. Many spore-bearing plants, such as ferns, rely on wind to transport their spores to new areas. Some ferns, like mosses, hold their spores on tall shafts, while others keep them in tiny areas beneath their leaves or across their stems.
Mosses are incredible plants in that they lack genuine roots and stems. This explains why they don’t reach very high above the forest floor. Mosses absorb water and nutrients through their green leaflike portions, therefore they prefer wet, shaded environments such as on trees and beside streams. Mosses, including ferns and other species of bryophytes, reproduce through spores. Mosses require water in order for the male and female divisions to unite and create a spore capsule. The spore case or capsule, which contains millions of microscopic spores, is carried by a thin stem in mosses. After the cases split, the wind transports the spores away, and each spore can develop a new moss plant.
Plants having a hollow, fused stems are known as horsetails. They are termed “living fossils” as they have existed since the dinosaur era, well over 300 million years ago. Horsetails used to be the length of trees, but they are now considerably smaller. Most horsetails don’t get much taller than three feet (one meter), but some do. Horsetail stems develop underground, with roots that go deeper into the soil and shoots that rise up into the air. The shoots that produce spores are a pale brown color. The other shoots are green and resemble the tail of a horse, and that’s how the plant got its name. The plant’s leaves are small scales and the green shoots have branching stalks.
Liverworts are basic plants with no actual stems, roots, or leaves, similar to mosses. Among the most frequent liverworts has the appearance of a little lettuce leaf on the ground. The plant’s structure is thin and develops along the ground; they live in wet, shady regions like alongside streams and on rocks and trees since they have neither stems nor roots. Liverworts are thought to be the earliest plants to survive on land. Scientists have discovered over 400 million-year-old liverwort remains.
5. Club Mosses
Even though they superficially resemble at first glance, club mosses have stems, roots, and leaves that distinguish them from other mosses. The roots can penetrate the soil and absorb water and minerals. Nutrients and water are transported up the stem and over to the leaves, which each have just one vein for this purpose. Club mosses can be found in a variety of habitats around the world. Some can be found growing in tropical woods, arctic boreal forests, and even beneath ice and snow. Some club mosses resemble miniature fir trees and transport their spores in stems.
Cycads are woody evergreen plants that look like palm trees. The sporophytes in their life cycle are separated into male and female species. Microsporophylls are reproductive structures carried by male plants in a cone-like formation at the apex of their crown. Pollen is produced by them. Megasporophylls are produced by the female plant and are loosely grouped in a whorl in the center of the leaves. They usually have a lot of ovules. Cycads, in fact, have the biggest ovules of any plant. The female gametophyte grows within the ovule, whereas the pollen becomes the male gametophyte. Wind or insects pollinate cycads. The male gamete is carried to the fertilized egg by pollen dropping on an ovule on the megasporophylls, which forms a pollen tube. Nevertheless, the pollen tube’s tip finally splits, discharging sperm cells that travel to the egg cell to fertilize it. Over the course of several months, fertilized ovules grow into fertile seeds.
Cone-bearing trees like firs, birches, and pines proliferate by producing scaly seeds within female cones. Unlike cycads, male and female cones grow on distinct branches on the very same plant. The sporophytes are the coniferous plants we observe. Male cones have microspores, which create pollen, whereas female cones contain ovules, which make megaspores. The microspore and megaspore, however, are where male and female gametophytes grow. The male gametophyte is the source of the pollen. The pollen is transported by wind to the female cone, where the male gametophyte forms and shoots out a pollen tube to approach the female gametophyte’s egg cell. The seeds thrive within the fully shut female cones after fertilization until they are ripe. It could take two years or over, but when the cones are ripe, they open up, revealing the bare seeds.
The foundation of genetic variation and life is sexual reproduction. Non-flowering plants do not all propagate by spores. Mushrooms and toadstools that grow by spores, on the other hand, are not classified as plants.