Difference between Unilocular and Plurilocular Sporangia

Unilocular and plurilocular sporangia are reproductive structures that are commonly found in algae. Unilocular sporangia consists of one cell and gives rise to haploid spores, whereas plurilocular sporangia consists of a number of cells that gives rise to diploid spores.

Let us explore their differences.

Unilocular Sporangia

Plurilocular Sporangia


It is a single enlarged cell which divides to give rise to haploid spores.

It consists of a number of cells which divide to give rise to diploid spores.


They are confined to diploid plants.

They are borne on both diploid and haploid plants.


Found mostly at colder temperatures.

Found mostly at warmer temperatures.

Structure in Ectocarpus

It is a globular, stalked, pear or oval shaped structure with dense cytoplasm and diploid nucleus.

They are elongate, cone-like structures, made up of a number of cuboidal cells or compartments arranged in vertical rows.

It undergoes meiosis to produce haploid spores.

It undergoes mitosis to produce diploid spores.


  • Ectocarpus: both the uni- and plurilocular sporangia are borne on the same individual
  • Cladostephus: uni- and plurilocular sporangia are borne on different individuals.
  • Halopteris: only unilocular sporangia found
  • Fucales: unilocular sporangia absent

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is plurilocular gametangia?

Plurilocular gametangia are the same as plurilocular sporangia, but are produced by gametophytes body and produce meiozoospores or gametes.

What is the importance of plurilocular sporangia?

Plurilocular sporangia produces spores which give rise to sporophytes.

What is the function of zoospores produced from plurilocular sporangia in Ectocarpus?

The zoospores give rise to a diploid plant on germination.

What is clump formation in Ectocarpus?

The male gametes cling to the female gametes forming a cluster. This is the clump formation in Ectocarpus.

Are sporangia present in the branches?

Yes, the sporangia are borne on the branches.

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