Difference Between Sporophyte and Gametophyte (With Table)

Gametophyte and Sporophyte are nothing but two generations of a plant. In all plants, an alternation of generation exists. Here, the members have two phases, namely haploid and diploid phases.  

The plant’s haploid phase is known as Gametophyte, whereas the diploid phase is known as Sporophyte. Although they are two generations of a plant and, hence will have some similarities, they differ from each other in a lot of aspects. 

Sporophyte vs Gametophyte 

The difference between Sporophyte and Gametophyte is that of the phase they are a part of in the life cycle of a plant. The gametophyte is the haploid segment or stage in the life cycle of a plant, whereas the Sporophyte is the diploid segment or stage in the life cycle of a plant.  

The generation of plants that produces ‘spores’ is known as Sporophyte. The Sporophyte is the segment or stage in the plant life-cycle that owns Diploid cells. Diploid cells have two sets of chromosomes (2n), where one set of chromosomes is from the male parent, and the other set is from the female parent. The Sporophyte produces haploid spores or meiospores by the process of meiosis in the diploid cells.   

The generation of plants that forms’ gametes’ is known as a Gametophyte. The gametophyte is the segment or stage in a plant’s life cycle that owns Haploid cells. Haploid cells have one set of chromosomes (n) carrying genetic information. Gametes are produced by plants with the help of their sex organs. 

Comparison Table Between Sporophyte and Gametophyte 

Parameters of Comparison Sporophyte  Gametophyte  
Phase or Generation The diploid (2n) stage in the plant life cycle is known as the ‘Sporophyte.’ The haploid (n) stage in the plant life-cycle is known as the “Gametophyte.’  
 Production   Sporophytes result in the formation of sporesGametophyte generation results in the production of gametes. 
 Chromosomes  Sporophytes own Diploid cells, which means they have two sets (2n) of chromosomes.    Gametophytes own Haploid cells, which means they have one set (n) of chromosomes. 
Process Sporophytes use the process of meiosis.  Gametophytes use the process of mitosis
Reproduction Sporophytes reproduce asexually.   Gametophytes undergo sexual reproduction. 
End Product During the process of meiosis, Sporophytes produce haploid spores (n) or meiospores in the diploid cells. Gametes together take part in Fertilization or Fuse, giving rise to diploid (2n) zygote. 

What is Sporophyte? 

The word ‘Sporo’ means spores, and ‘Phyte’ means plants. The Sporophyte is the stage or segment in the plant life-cycle which owns Diploid cells. This stage in the plant life produces spores, and hence, is known as ‘Sporophyte.’ 

The Diploid cells own two sets of chromosomes (2n), where one set of chromosomes is the male parent’s, while the other set is that of the female parent’s. Sporophytes reproduce asexually. 

Sporophytes, however, can produce both sexual and asexual spores. The Sporophyte produces haploid spores or meiospores by the process of meiosis. This spore further develops into a Gametophyte which has a haploid (n) chromosome.  

Sporophyte receives its nourishment from Gametophytes. Plants like Angiosperms and Gymnosperms have a higher dominant phase of the Sporophyte.

What is Gametophyte? 

The word ‘Gameto’ means Gametes, and ‘phyte’ means plants. The gametophyte is the segment or stage in the plant life-cycle that owns Haploid cells. This stage in the plant-life forms gametes, and hence, is known as ‘Gametophyte.’  

Haploid cells own one set (n) of chromosomes that carries genetic information. They produce gametes by undergoing sexual reproduction.   

Gametes fuse together to take part in Fertilization and give rise to a Diploid zygote. This further grows into the next generation, known as the Sporophyte, which has diploid (2n) chromosomes.  

Due to the frequent changes in plant life, there has been a rising decrease in Gametophytes which are being constrained into small cells. Gametophytes undergo the procedure of Mitosis. Plants like Algae and Bryophytes have a higher dominant phase of Gametophytes.  

Main Differences Between Sporophyte and Gametophyte

  1. Sporophytes are the stage in the life cycle of a plant that owns the Diploid cells, whereas Gametophytes own Haploid cells.  
  2.  Sporophytes produce asexual as well as sexual spores, whereas Gametophytes produce gametes.  
  3. Sporophytes reproduce asexually, whereas Gametophytes reproduce sexually.  
  4. Sporophytes own Diploid cells, which means they have two sets of chromosomes (2n), one set of chromosomes coming from the male parent while the other from the female parent. On the other hand, Gametophytes own Haploid cells, which means they have one set of chromosomes (n) that carries genetic information.  
  5. Sporophytes use the process of Meiosis, whereas Gametophytes use the process of Mitosis. 
  6. During the process of Meiosis, Sporophytes produce haploid spores (n) or meiospores, whereas Gametes together take part in Fertilization or Fuse, giving rise to diploid (2n) zygote.  
  7. Sporophytes produce microspore and megaspore, whereas Gametophytes produce male gametes and female gametes. 

 Conclusion 

Sporophyte and Gametophyte might be two generations of a plant and have some similarities, yet they differ from each other in a lot of aspects. The alternation of generation exists in every plant. However, here, the members have the haploid and diploid phases.  

Saprophyte is the stage or segment in a plant life-cycle that owns Diploid cells. Diploid cells have two sets of chromosomes (2n). Saprophytes produce spores and reproduce asexually. They produce haploid spores in the Diploid cell during the process of meiosis. This spore further develops into a Gametophyte which has a haploid (n) chromosome.  

Gametophyte, on the other hand, is the stage or segment in the plant life-cycle that owns Haploid cells. Unlike Diploid cells that own two sets of chromosomes, Haploid cells own one set of chromosomes (n) that carries genetic information. Gametophytes undergo sexual reproduction to form gametes.   

Gametes together take part in Fertilization or Fuse, giving rise to a Diploid zygote. This further grows into the next generation, known as the Sporophyte, which has diploid (2n) chromosomes.  

The main point of difference between Sporophytes and Gametophytes is that Sporophytes undergo the procedure of meiosis, whereas Gametophytes undergo the procedure of mitosis. 

References 

  1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/171/3976/1155.abstract 
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.2307/1222089 
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