Biology

Difference between Gametophyte and Sporophyte

Main difference

The main difference between gametophyte and sporophyte is that gametophyte is the haploid phase of the plant life cycle, while the sporophyte is the diploid phase of the plant life cycle.

Gametophyte against himself Sporophyte

There are different types of plants that exist on this earth. They have a complex life cycle in which all these types show alternation of generation. This alternation of generation shows haploid and diploid phases that alternate with each other. These phases are known as gametophyte and sporophyte, and both are multicellular structures. The gametophyte is a haploid phase in which haploid male and female gametes are produced while; the sporophyte is a diploid phase in which diploid spores are produced. So the gametophyte is known as the sexual phase during the sporophyte as the asexual phase of the life of the plant. In gametophytes, gametes are produced by meiosis. These haploid male and female gametes fuse with each other to form a diploid zygote that becomes a sporophyte. The sporophyte produces spores through mitosis which are called gametophytes. So, in this way, these two generations alternate with each other. It shows that a plant generates two different types of plants with the same genetic material. The algae and bryophytes showed a dominant gametophytic stage; on the other hand, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms show a dominant generation of sporophytes.

Comparative chart

Gametophyte Sporophyte
A multicellular generation in the life cycle of a plant in which it forms gametes directly from its cells is known as a gametophyte. A multicellular generation in the life cycle of a plant in which it forms spores is known as a sporophyte.
Phase
The gametophyte is a sexual phase in the life cycle of a plant. The sporophyte is an asexual phase in the life cycle of a plant.
Products
The gametophyte forms male and female gametes. The sporophyte forms spores, that is, microspores and megaspores.
Production
It is produced by meiosis. It is produced by mitosis.
Developing
A gametophyte develops through the germination of a meiospore. The sporophyte develops through the zygote.
Generated by
The gametophyte is generated by the sporophyte. The sporophyte is generated by the gametophyte.
Of chromosomes
The gametophyte is a haploid generation, that is, it has half the chromosomes. The sporophyte is a diploid generation, that is, it has two sets of chromosomes.
Bryophytes
The gametophyte is dominant in bryophytes and is independent. The sporophyte depends on the gametophyte.
In pteridophytes and higher plants
The gametophyte is reduced in pteridophytes and higher plants. The sporophyte is dominant in pteridophytes and higher plants.
What is the gametophyte ?

A gametophyte is the multicellular haploid plant that forms during the alteration of generations of plants and algae. It develops through the germination of a meiospore. The gametophyte consists of the archegonium, that is, a female sexual organ, and the antheridium or male sexual organ. The female gamete, that is, an ovum or an egg is produced in the antheridium, on the other hand, the male gamete, that is, the sperm is produced in the archegonium. These two gametes are fertilized in the archegonium to form a diploid zygote cell. That zygote becomes a generation of sporophytes again. The gametophyte is dominant in bryophytes and algae. Some bryophytes, such as liverworts, etc., develop separate male and female gametophytes through germination of megaspores and microspores, respectively. In the ferns, the gametophyte is not the prominent form of the plant body, but it is also independent of its sporophyte. The gametophyte is reduced to the microscopic level in pteridophytes and seed plants.

What is the sporophyte ?

A sporophyte is a multicellular diploid plant that forms during the alternation of generation in plants and algae. It develops through the zygote. The sporophyte has sporangia where meiosis occurs to form haploid spores, that is, megaspores and microspores. These spores are haploid cells that develop into haploid gametophytes. Megaspores develop into female gametophytes while; microspores develop into male gametophytes. These spores consist of a cell that can transform into another new plant without mating. During evolution, the sporophytic stage has become dominant over the gametophytic stage. The most primitive non-vascular plants, i.e. bryophytes, consist of a generation of sporophytes that is completely dependent on their gametophytic generation. But, in pteridophytes and higher plants, ie gymnosperms and angiosperms, the sporophyte is the dominant form. The dominant sporophyte is differentiated into stem, root, and leaves.

Key differences

  1. A multicellular generation in the life cycle of a plant in which it forms gametes directly from its cells is known as a gametophyte, while a multicellular generation in the life cycle of a plant in which it forms spores is known as a sporophyte.
  2. The gametophyte is a sexual phase in the life cycle of a plant; on the other hand, the sporophyte is an asexual phase of the life cycle of a plant.
  3. The gametophyte forms male and female gametes. Rather, Sporophyte forms spores, that is, microspores and megaspores.
  4. The gametophyte is produced by meiosis while; the sporophyte is produced by mitosis.
  5. A gametophyte develops through the germination of a meiospore on the other side; the sporophyte develops through the zygote.
  6. The gametophyte is generated by the sporophyte; on the other hand, the sporophyte is generated by the gametophyte, that is, they show alternation of generation.
  7. The gametophyte is a haploid generation, that is, it has half the number of chromosomes, while the sporophyte is a diploid generation, that is, it has two sets of chromosomes.
  8. The gametophyte is dominant in bryophytes and is time independent; the sporophyte depends on the gametophyte.
  9. The gametophyte is reduced in pteridophytes and higher plants on the other side, the sporophyte is dominant in pteridophytes and higher plants.

Final Thought

The above discussion summarizes that the gametophyte and the sporophyte are the two generation alteration phases that occur in plants and algae. The gametophyte is considered a sexual, haploid phase that produces male and female gametes, while the sporophyte is considered an asexual diploid phase in which spores are produced. These two generations alternate with each other in the life cycle of a plant.

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