Difference between zoospore and zygote

Main difference

The main difference between Zoospore and Zygote is that Zoospore is the asexual spore while Zygote is the fused gamete form of sexual reproduction.

Zoospore versus zygote

Zoospores are special spores produced by some species of living organisms, including bacteria, algae, and fungi. The formation of the zygote takes place in the higher kingdoms of the lineage, such as animals and plants, as one of the complex organisms. Zoospores are usually flagellated of various types, such as whiplash and tinsel, in different orders of fungi, whereas the zygote is not a flagellated reproductive stage.

Zoospores are mobile as they move through flagella in different patterns such as directional or propulsion movement. The zygote is immobile due to the absence of flagella in them. Zoospores can be haploid like 1n or diploid like 2n, while the zygote is always diploid, since it results from the fusion of two haploid cells, since in humans two haploid cells with 23 chromosomes combine to form a zygote.

Zoospores are the result of asexual reproduction, since one of the parents gives rise to daughter cells, while the zygote is formed as a result of sexual reproduction by fusion of two haploid cells. Zoospores play an essential role in the dispersal of spores; on the other hand, the zygote does not have a dispersion importance since it plays a minor role.

Zoospores always formed in the structure called zoosporangium. The formation of the zygote occurs through the fusion of two male and female gametes.

Comparative chart

Zoospore Zygote
The zoospore is formed by asexual reproduction in kingdoms, which are algae, fungi, or protozoa. The zygote is formed by sexual reproduction in higher animals that include plants and animals.
The spores are found within the zoosporangium. Two gametes fuse.
Haploid (1n) or diploid (2n). Diploid (2n).
Flagellated structure Not flagellated
Mobile spores Still
Playback type
Asexual reproduction Sexual reproduction
Role in dispersion
It plays an important role in dispersal. Little role in scattering.
Occurrence in organisms
Prokarytae, Protista, Fungi Animals, Plants
What is Zoospore?

Zoospore is one of the asexual spores found in three of the five kingdoms that are Prokaryotae, Protoctista and Fungi, for their propagation. It is a kind of mobile spore that uses flagellum, which is used as a source of locomotion. It is produced inside the zoosporangium, which has an asexual structure in the form of a sporangium (the enclosure in which spores are produced).

Some of the characteristics of zoospores are that they are specialized naked spores for dispersal role, as they cannot divide and absorb organic nutrients from the environment. They can also swim for many hours as it is owned by swimming zoospores through the use of endogenous food reserves. They can respond to environmental cues that are used to locate the encyst site.

The swimming zoospores of fungi can appear in various ways such as chemotaxis (response to chemical gradients), aerotaxis (response to oxygen), phototaxis (response to light), galvanotaxis (respond to ionic or electric field), rheotaxis (swimming against currents of water). ). They have tinsel (for handling) and whiplash flagella.

Types of zoospores

  • Opistocon: It is a posterior whiplash flagella in most eukaryotes, such as fungi and animals such as Chytriodimycota, while Neocallimastigales have up to 16 flagella.
  • Anisokont: It is a biflagellate species with two whip-shaped flagella in some of the orders of fungi Myxomycota and Plasmodiophoromycota.
  • Heterokont: It has biflagellate zoospores with whiplash and tinsel-like flagella attached anteriorly or laterally as in the oomycete and some heteroconta.
What is the zygote?

The zygote is the form of cells that have a complex structure of organized genetic material. The zygote is a kind of eukaryotic cell formed from the fusion of two gametes through the process of fertilization. The word “zygote” is derived from the Greek word “zygotos”, which means “united or yoked” in convention. It is also considered the fertilized egg due to the fusion of the sperm and the egg. The zygote contains the genes of both parents. It contains all the information in the form of DNA of each of the gamete cells.

It is the form of fused sperm (sperm) and egg (oocyte). The sperm is the male reproductive cell, while the egg is the female reproductive cell. The zygote is one of the first stages of development of multicellular organisms. The zygote leads to the formation of an embryo, which eventually forms the fetus. Identical twins are produced by asexual reproduction when the zygote divides.

Zygotes in the kingdoms of living organisms

Human zygote: A released haploid egg and a haploid sperm combine to form a single haploid cell called a zygote. In humans, a zygote is implanted in the uterus, which is divided by mitosis.

Zygote plants: forms within the archegonium in the female reproductive chamber, while the zygote can be polyploid if unreduced gametes are fertilized.

In fungi: Karyogamy takes place in fungi, which is the fusion of haploid cells. Therefore, as a result, the diploid cell formed as a zygospore or zygote.

In protozoa: cell division takes place in which the mother cell splits into two daughter cells.

Key differences

  1. Zoospores can be haploid like 1n or diploid like 2n (fused from two gametes), while the zygote is always 2n diploid.
  2. Zoospores exhibit asexual reproduction; on the other hand, the formation of the zygote is the result of sexual reproduction.
  3. The zoospores are flagellated on the other side; the zygote is not flagellated.
  4. Zoospores are motile, whereas zygotes are not motile.
  5. Zoospores participate in dispersal; on the contrary, the zygote does not participate in the dispersal.
  6. Zoospore formation takes place in lower animals like algae, fungi and protozoa, while zygote formation takes place in higher animals like animals and plants.
  7. The formation of zoospores occurs within the structure called zoosporangium, while the formation of zygotes occurs by the fusion of gametes.

Final Thought

Zoospore formed by asexual reproduction in the zoosporangium, which can be haploid or diploid while the zygote is formed by sexual reproduction, which is diploid.

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