—sporophytic /spawr'euh fit"ik, spohr'-/, adj./spawr"euh fuyt', spohr"-/, n. Bot.the form of a plant in the alternation of generations that produces asexual spores. Cf. gametophyte.[1885-90; SPORO- + -PHYTE]
* * *In many plants and algae, the nonsexual phase in the alternation of generations, or an individual representing the phase.The alternate, sexual phase is the gametophyte. In the sporophyte phase, a diploid (see ploidy) plant body grows and eventually produces spores through meiosis. These spores divide by mitosis to produce haploid gametophytes, which then can carry out sexual reproduction.
* * *▪ biologyin certain plants and algae, nonsexual phase (or an individual representing the phase) in the alternation of generations—a phenomenon in which two distinct phases (a haploid and a diploid phase) occur in the life history of a plant, each phase producing the other. (The alternate, sexual phase is the gametophyte.) In the sporophyte phase, a diploid plant body grows and eventually produces spores through meiosis. These spores divide mitotically to produce haploid, gamete-producing bodies called gametophytes. The union of two gametes during fertilization produces a diploid zygote, which divides mitotically to form a new sporophyte.The character and relative extent of the two phases vary greatly among different groups of plants and algae. During the course of evolution, the gametophyte stage is progressively reduced; thus, in the higher (i.e., vascular) plants, the sporophyte is the dominant phase in the life cycle, whereas in the more primitive nonvascular plants the gametophyte remains dominant. See also gametophyte.
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