What is SPORULATION and examples - Summary with pictures!

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Sporulation is one of the main types of asexual reproduction, which occurs both in the Plantae or vegetable Kingdom as in the Fungi or fungi Kingdom and in the Monera Kingdom, as it also occurs in some bacteria. It is a very common reproduction mechanism in nature, although it may be a little known to many botany or biology enthusiasts or to those who are not used to researching or curious about these topics.

If you want to learn which organisms carry out sporulation and how this type of reproduction works, join us in this interesting article by Ecologist Verde on what is sporulation and examples of organisms that use this method of asexual reproduction.

What is sporulation

As we have already mentioned, sporulation is a type of asexual reproduction that some organisms share. The asexual reproduction by sporulation It can be a mechanism that is part of the natural reproductive cycle of a species, or it can be an alternative mechanism in the face of hostile and adverse environments that temporarily make survival or sexual reproduction impossible. This is because sporesUnicellular structures of propagation, they are extremely resistant and can survive environments such as extreme temperatures, floods, droughts or lack of nutrients. We recommend you get to know them better with this other article on What are spores.

There are many organisms capable of resorting to sporulation, but not all do it in the same way. Fungi, Plants, and Bacteria each one keeps its peculiarities in this regard, as we will see below.

Fungal sporulation

The fungal spores, that is, those produced by mushrooms, are key in the reproduction, propagation and survival of their species. In your case, a fungus is capable of producing spores by both sexual and asexual reproduction. The former are vital for the adaptation of the species to changes or new environments, while the latter are especially important for the dispersal and colonization capacity of the fungus.

If the spore is produced asexually, the DNA is duplicated and divided by mitosis in the septum. The spore is formed and separated by a plasma membrane, which is then protected with a resistant covering and released into the environment.

Sporulation in plants

In plants, it is necessary to differentiate two main types of species that produce plant spores, we talk about ferns and bryophytes. Ferns are some of the most primitive vascular plants that exist today, while bryophytes are non-vascular plants, that is, they lack elaborate structures for transporting water and nutrients.

  • In the case of ferns, pteridophytes or also called pteridophyte plants, the sporogenesis occurs on the underside of the leaves, in structures that are called sporangia or, when it comes to the merger of several of them, synangios. They produce haploid megaspores that, when released and when conditions are favorable, give rise to a gametophyte that, later on, will be able to produce a new sporophyte capable of starting the cycle once again. We encourage you to know more details about How ferns reproduce by reading this other article.
  • Non-vascular plants, bryophyte plants, share a similar cycle, in which meiotic cell division begins in the sporophyte stage, producing a high number of haploid spores. Once in a favorable environment, these germinate producing gametophytes, which will give rise to gametes, capable of merging to form a new sporophyte, thus returning to the diploid phase.

Sporulation in bacteria

Not all bacteria produce bacterial spores, but those that do have in this mechanism a way of surviving sudden changes in the environment, thus leaving their spores waiting for conditions to become favorable again. Bacterial spores are, in fact, considered among the more resistant In nature. In most cases, this process is triggered when the bacteria run out of nutrients and increase their cell density.

It is convenient to differentiate here between endospores, produced by bacteria of the firmicutes group and that originate inside the cell, and the exospores, which are produced by certain actinobacteria and are formed externally and by budding.

Examples of sporulation

Some Examples of species that use sporulation to reproduce:

  • In the case of fungi, reproduction by spores is the most common, and it is common to classify them by the characteristics of their spore-producing structures. They differ according to the spores they produce, such as ascospores, basidiospores or conidia, among others. Therefore, practically any type of fungus or mushroom It can be an example of an organism that uses sporulation as a method of reproduction.
  • Pteridophytes, commonly called ferns and horsetailsThey reproduce by spores as they do not have seeds or flowers. There are many types and there are around 10,000 species worldwide, among which are, for example, the Asplenium nidus, the Cythea, the Nephrolepis exaltata or the Selaginella willdenowii.
  • In bacteria, sporulation takes place, especially in those belonging to the genera Clostridium and Bacillus, as well as in some cyanobacteria.

What is the difference between budding and sporulation

Both budding and sporulation are types of asexual reproduction, but while sporulation is based on the formation of spores that are released into the environment, in budding what is given is the formation of buds in the parent, which once grow and develop can either separate from it, or form colonies next to it.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is sporulation and examples, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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