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Difference Between Apogamy and Apospory

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Introduction: Explaining Apogamy and Apospory

Apogamy and apospory are two distinct processes in plant reproduction, each involving unique mechanisms and outcomes. Apogamy refers to the asexual development of a diploid sporophyte directly from a gametophyte, bypassing the need for fertilisation. In contrast, apospory involves the formation of a diploid sporophyte from a somatic cell within the gametophyte, typically the nucellus. While both processes allow plants to reproduce without sexual fertilisation, apogamy arises from the gametophyte itself, while apospory originates from a somatic cell within the gametophyte. Understanding these differences provides insights into the diverse strategies employed by plants to propagate and ensure the survival of their species and helps to Explain apogamy and apospory.

Last updated date: 25th Sep 2023
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What is Apogamy and Apospory?

Apospory: Apospory refers to the development of a diploid sporophyte directly from a somatic cell within the gametophyte, typically the nucellus.

Apogamy: Involves the development of a diploid sporophyte directly from a gametophyte without the fusion of gametes. Instead of the usual process of fertilisation, a portion of the gametophyte undergoes cell division and differentiation to form the sporophyte.

Interesting Facts!!

Apospory: It is considered a form of vegetative reproduction, as the sporophyte originates from a non-reproductive somatic cell rather than a specialised reproductive structure like a spore or a gamete.

Apogamy: It is considered a type of vegetative propagation, as the sporophyte is formed from a non-reproductive structure (the gametophyte) rather than through spore production or the fusion of gametes.

Characteristics of Apogamy and Apospory


Ploidy: The sporophyte formed through apospory maintains the same ploidy level as the parent plant. It is typically diploid, as it arises from a diploid somatic cell.

Genetic Identity: Apospory results in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant. There is no mixing of genetic material through sexual reproduction, leading to clonal reproduction.


Genetic Stability: Apogamy helps maintain genetic stability within plant populations, as there is no recombination or genetic variation introduced through sexual reproduction.

Environmental Adaptability:  Apogamy allows plants to adapt and persist in challenging or unpredictable environments where sexual reproduction may be limited or inefficient.

Difference Between Apospory and Apogamy






Apogamy is the formation of an embryo without undergoing fertilisation.

Apospory is the production of a gametophyte without the production of spores.



Apogamy produces a haploid embryo.

Apospory produces a diploid gametophyte.


Apogamy occur in Funaria.

Apospory occurs in Anthoceros.


Apospory is the production of a gametophyte by the sporophyte without undergoing meiosis or formation of spores. As there is no meiosis in apospory, the gametophyte is diploid. In contrast, apogamy is the formation of an embryo without undergoing fertilisation. Therefore, the forming sporophyte from the embryo is always haploid. Both apospory and apogamy are two types of asexual reproduction methods which alter the regular sexual reproduction. However, the main difference between apospory and apogamy is the type of reproductive structure produced in each process and their ploidy.

FAQs on Difference Between Apogamy and Apospory

1. What are the Advantages of Apospory and Apogamy in Plant Breeding?

Apospory and apogamy have advantages in plant breeding programs. They allow for the clonal propagation of desirable plant traits without the need for sexual reproduction. This enables the rapid multiplication and preservation of desired genetic material, leading to the development of new crop varieties with improved characteristics such as disease resistance, yield, and quality.

2. How do Apospory and Apogamy Impact Plant Genetic Diversity?

Apospory and apogamy are forms of asexual reproduction that result in genetically identical offspring. This means that they do not contribute to the introduction of new genetic variations. Instead, they help maintain genetic stability within plant populations. However, sexual reproduction still plays a vital role in overall plant genetic diversity.

3. Are Apospory and Apogamy Observed in any Economically Important Crop Plants?

Yes, apospory and apogamy have been observed in some economically important crop plants. For example, apospory has been found in certain species of grasses and apogamy in ferns. The understanding and utilisation of these processes in crop breeding have the potential to improve crop productivity and quality.