Difference Between Seeds and Spores (with Table)

The most common reproductive structures found in fungi, plants and some bacterias are spores and seeds. In order to produce new organisms or plants of the species they are of, they have to go under germination.

The difference between seeds and spores is that seeds are larger and can be seen and touched easily whereas spores are very small and can only be seen by the help of a magnifying glass or a microscope.

The purpose of both seeds and spores in a plant is similar, that is, to produce new plants but they are still very different from each other. Spores are of two types that are heterosporous and homosporous. Heterosporous also has two different types that are small male spore and big female spore. 

Seeds also are of two types that are diploid and haploid. The difference between a diploid and a haploid is that a diploid has two sets of paired chromosomes while a haploid has only one set of paired chromosomes.

Comparison Table Between Seeds and Spores

Parameters of ComparisonSeedsSpores
DefinitionThe ripened ovules in a flowering plant is known as a seed.The reproductive cells that are responsible for developing into a new plant or organism without any fusion with another reproductive cell are known as spores.
SizeThey are big in size or are macroscopic.They are very small in size or are microscopic.
Produced bySeeds are produced by flowering plants.Spores are produced by non-flowering plants and fungi.
Location in plantsSeeds are generally located inside the fruit of the plant. Spores are generally located at the underside of fern leaves and in the mosses and gills of fungi.
Process of productionSeeds are developed by the process of mitosis from the ovules with other fertilized egg cells.Spores are developed by the process of meiosis of the sporophyte.
QuantitySeeds are produced in fewer numbers.Spores are produced in large numbers.
Type of reproductionSeeds are units of sexual reproduction.Spores are units of asexual reproduction.
Cellular complexitySeeds are multicellular.Spores are unicellular.
Method of dispersionSeeds are dispersed by animals.Spores are mostly dispersed by water and wind.
Reserved foodSeeds contain the endosperms that store nutrients for the growth of the embryo.Spores do not contain any reserved food.
Survival capabilitiesSeeds are capable of surviving in very harsh conditions.Spores are not capable and are less prone to survive in harsh environments.
Water requiredSeeds require less water for germination.Spores require more water for germination.

What is Seed?

The ripened ovule with a small embryonic plant enclosed as a covering called a seed coat is known as a seed. It can also be said to be the ovule which is present inside the ovary that after fertilization develops into a seed. The seed consists of three parts which are the embryo, endosperm and the seed coat. Some seeds may or may not have endosperm. 

The only source of food for the growth of the embryo is stored in the endosperm. The function of the seed coat is to ensure and protect the embryo until it grows into a new plant. This seed coat has one or more protective layers to protect the plant from any damage.

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What is Spore?

The reproductive cell, organ or structure of a fungi, non-flowering plant and algae is called a spore. A spore is capable of reproducing and growing into a new organism or plant without it’s fusion with any other reproductive cells. They are basically units of asexual reproduction that are produced in non-flowering plants, algae, fungi, bacteria, etc. 

There are two types of spores that are homosporous and heterosporous a plant is called homospory if it produces only one type of spore whereas it is called heterospory if it produces two types of spores, that is, both male and female spores.

Main Differences Between Seeds and Spores

  1. Seeds are the ripened ovules in a flowering plant whereas spores are the reproductive cells that are responsible for developing into a new plant or organism without the spore’s fusion with another reproductive cell.
  2. Seeds are big in size and are macroscopic while spores are very small in size and are microscopic.
  3. Seeds require less water for germination whereas spores require more water for germination.
  4. Seeds are capable of surviving in very harsh conditions while spores are not as capable as seeds and are less prone to survive in harsh environments.
  5. Seeds contain the endosperms that store nutrients for the growth of the embryo. Spores, on the other hand, do not contain any reserved food.
  6. Seeds are dispersed by animals while spores are most of the time dispersed by wind and water.
  7. Seeds are multicellular whereas spores are unicellular.
  8. Seeds are the units of sexual reproduction while spores are the units of asexual reproduction.
  9. Seeds are developed by the process of mitosis from the ovules with other fertilized egg cells whereas spores are developed by the process of meiosis of the sporophyte.
  10. Seeds are produced in less number while spores are produced in large numbers by the plant.
  11. Flowering plants produce seeds and non-flowering plants and fungi produce spores.
  12. You can find seeds inside the fruit of the plant, like in the case of Mango. Spores can be found on the underside of fern leaves or can be found in the mosses and gills of fungi.

Conclusion

Both seeds and spores are the reproductive structures of a plant. Flowering plants produce seeds whereas non-flowering plants, algae, bacteria and fungi produce spores. The production of spores in a plant or organism is very large in number while the production of seeds is less in number. Also, the size of seeds is much bigger than that of the spores. 

Spores are microscopic which means they can only be seen by the help of a magnifying equipment. Spores can be seen at the underside of fern leaves. In fungi, they are present in mosses and gills. On the other hand, seeds are present inside the fruits of the plant.

Refrences

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=I0riES3HoE0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=seeds+and+spores&ots=RRt_B_uvhT&sig=7EHnWmTcqEayFddKJLC_hGeL220
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42765299