Seeds vs Spores: Difference and Comparison

Spores and seeds are the most common reproductive structures found in fungi, plants, and some bacteria. To produce new organisms or plants of the species they are off, they have to go under germination.

Key Takeaways

  1. Seeds and spores are both reproductive structures of plants that can develop into new individuals.
  2. Seeds are formed after fertilization and contain an embryo, while spores are produced asexually and do not have an embryo.
  3. Seeds are larger and have more nutrients than spores, which are smaller and can be produced in larger quantities.

Seeds vs. Spores

Seeds are a reproductive structure produced by flowering plants, containing an embryonic plant and nutrients. A spore is a single reproductive cell produced by many plants,  smaller than seeds, and dispersed by wind, water, or other means. It is produced by asexual reproduction, which does not involve the fusion of gametes.

Seeds vs Spores

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

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.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSeedsSpores
DefinitionThe ripened ovules in a flowering plant is known as a seed.The reproductive cells responsible for developing into a new plant or organism without any fusion with another reproductive cell are known as spores.
SizeThey are big or macroscopic.They are very small in size or are microscopic.
Produced bySeeds are produced by flowering plants.Non-flowering plants and fungi produce spores.
Location in plantsSeeds are generally located inside the fruit of the plant. Spores are generally located on 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.The process of meiosis of the sporophyte develops spores.
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 dispersionAnimals disperse seeds.Spores are mostly dispersed by water and wind.
Reserved foodSeeds contain 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 inside the ovary that, after fertilization, develops into a seed.

The seed consists of three parts: the embryo, endosperm, and seed coat. Some seeds may or may not have endosperm. 

The only food source for the embryo’s growth 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 damage.

seed 1

What is Spore?

The reproductive cell, organ, or structure of fungi, non-flowering plants, and algae is called a spore. A spore can reproduce and grow into a new organism or plant without its fusion with any other reproductive cells.

They are units of asexual reproduction that are produced in non-flowering plants, algae, fungi, bacteria, etc. 

Two types of spores 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, both male and female.

spore

Main Differences Between Seeds and Spores

  1. Seeds are the ripened ovules in a flowering plant. In contrast, spores are the reproductive cells responsible for developing into a new plant or organism without the spore’s fusion with another reproductive cell.
  2. Seeds are big and macroscopic, while spores are very small and microscopic.
  3. Seeds require less water for germination, whereas spores require more.
  4. Seeds can survive in very harsh conditions, while spores are less capable than seeds and less prone to survive in harsh environments.
  5. Seeds contain endosperms that store nutrients for the growth of the embryo. Spores, on the other hand, do not contain any reserved food.
  6. Animals disperse seeds, while spores are mostly 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 the process of meiosis of the sporophyte develops spores.
  10. Seeds are produced in fewer numbers, 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 plant’s fruit, like in the case of Mango. Spores can be found on the fern leaves’ underside or in fungi’s mosses and gills.
Difference Between Seeds and Spores
References
  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
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