What are spores?

Spores are the single-celled reproductive unit of nonflowering plants, bacteria, fungi, and algae. Spores, for the most part, are units of asexual reproduction. Some bacteria also produce spores as a way to survive very harsh conditions. Once the spores are formed, the organism releases them into the environment to grow and thrive. Spores are often formed through a process called sporogenesis. Spores are also formed in bacteria , however, bacterial spores are not typically involved in reproduction.

  • Some bacteria form spores called endospores as a means to combat extreme conditions in the environment that threaten their survival.
  • Algae produce spores as a means of asexual reproduction. These spores may be non-motile (aplanospores) or they may be motile (zoospores) and move from one place to another using flagella.
  • Fungal spores can be single-celled or multicelluar. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes depending on the species. Fungal spores can be asexual or sexual.
  • Plants without seeds, such as ferns and mosses, develop from spores. Spores are produced within sporangia and are released into the environment.

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