Spore

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A spore is known as the reproductive cell, which has capability of developing into new individuals undergoing fusion with another reproductive cell. Because of this reason spores are different from gametes as reproductive cells have capability of undergoing fusion with other reproductive cells to give rise to new individuals whereas spore undergoes asexual reproduction

Spores are mainly produced by bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants. They are known to be single-celled reproductive units in nonflowering plants, bacteria, algae and fungi. In the case of many bacteria, they produce many spores because they survive in harsh conditions as bacterial spores are not mainly involved in the reproduction process. After spore formation, the organism releases them into the environment for better growing and surviving. The process by which spores are formed are known as sporogenesis. 

Spores in Different Organisms

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In case of bacteria spores are called endospores as they use their spore for better survival in extreme conditions. 

In case of algae they are mode of Asexual reproduction as algae undergoes asexual reproduction and their spores are both non-motile (aplanospores), means not able to move  and motile (zoospores) as they can move from one place to another by using their flagella. In case of fungi their spores are both unicellular or multicellular in nature. They also vary in colours, shapes and sizes depending on fungal species. Along with that fungal spores can be both sexual and asexual. 

In the case of plants, the ones which don't produce seeds like ferns and mosses, develop spores and their spores are produced within sporangia and furthey they release it into the environment. 

Sporulation

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The process of formation of spores from vegetative cells under unfavourable conditions is called sporulation. We can also say that it is an adaptive response that allows the organism to survive given adverse conditions (radiation, extreme heat or cold, lack of nutrition etc). In the case of bacteria we can preserve their genetic material in the form of spores under harsh conditions under which it is difficult to survive. 

Under the sporulation process, they give multilayered structure by which they can be maintained for a longer duration. Main function of spores in bacteria is to provide them with dryness, heat and intense radiation for a long time, relative to the normal lifespan of the microorganism.

Sporulation in Bacteria

By sporulation process, it allows movement of disease like anthrax and botulism to spread, it may prove to be a dangerous process. Along with these harmful spores there are many spores which are very helpful in different ways. In case of maximum fungus they reproduce by spore formation including fungus like edible mushrooms and mold that is processed in penicillin.

But in case of plants only primitive plants undergo saponification process, higher plants do not undergo sporulation  process. From this we can understand how evolution occurs in plants through spores. 

There are several advantages of spores over seeds:

1. Due to the hardness of spores they are more favourable than seeds. 

2. They have a tendency of surviving under harsh conditions like temperature, pressure, etc. 

3. Plants and fungi use spores for the reproduction and dispersal process. 

4. Even after living in many years of dormancy, bacterial spores are highly durable and can germinate after many years also.

One Word Questions

1. Name one plant which has tendency of producing spores:

Ans. Bread mould

2. Spores are produced by which process:

Ans. Bread mould

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Explain different types of Spores in Fungi?

Ans. Some common types of spores in fungi are listed below:

A. Sporangiospores: In zygomycetes.

B. Zygospores: In zygomycetes.

C. Ascospores: In  ascomycetes.

D. Basidiospores:In  basidiomycetes.

E. Aeciospores: In some fungi such as rusts or smuts.

F. Urediniospores:In  some fungi such as rusts or smuts.

G. Teliospores: In fungi such as rusts or smuts.

H. Oospores: In oomycetes.

Q2. Write different types of Spores based on Mobility?

Ans. Based on mobility, spores are of two types mobile or non-mobile, which can further be grouped into:

A. Zoospores: These spores are mobile and do movement with the help of flagella and mainly present in some algae and fungi. 

B. Aplanospores: They are considered as immobile spores that may nevertheless potentially grow flagella.

C. Autospores: they are also known as  immobile spores that cannot develop flagella.

D. Ballistospores: spores that are forcibly discharged or ejected from the fungal fruiting body as the result of an internal force, such as buildup of pressure. Most basidiospores are also ballistospores, and another notable example is spores of the genus Pilobolus.