∞ generated and posted on 2016.02.23 ∞
Haploid disseminating cell that is specialized for survival and movement.
Spores are produced by plants as well as fungi. See also zoospore, megaspore, and microspore. Not to be confused with the bacterial structures known as endospores.
With plants, the spore is produced by the sporophyte generation and serves as the first cell of the gametophyte generation. Note, though, that in these spores, here called megaspores or microspores, are not involved in the dissemination process but instead are retained by the sporophyte tissue. Note also that in various algae the spores are flagellated cells, called zoospores, but which nonetheless serve the same basic function as the spores of seed-bearing plates, as well as those of fungi.
With members of kingdom Fungi, sexually derived spores are products of meiosis whereas asexually derived spores are products of mitosis, but in either case are haploid (in the case of the asexually derived spores the cells giving rise to the spore mitotically are themselves haploid). Spores formed by terrestrial organisms float on the wind to effect dissemination, as are seen with both fungi and non-seed-bearing plants.
Many spores in aquatic environments, so-called zoospores, instead disseminate by swimming, using flagella.
The following video shows spores being squeezed from a small puffball: