Sporophyte vs Gametophyte: Difference and Comparison

Gametophytes and Sporophytes are nothing but two generations of a plant. In all plants, an alternation of generation exists.

Although they are two generations of a plant and, hence will have some similarities, they differ from each other in a lot of aspects. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Sporophyte is the diploid generation of plants that produce spores, while Gametophyte is the haploid generation that produces gametes.
  2. Sporophyte is larger and more complex than Gametophyte and is more visible to the naked eye.
  3. Sporophytes and Gametophytes alternate in the life cycle of plants and have distinct characteristics and functions.

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.  

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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.    

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.

Comparison Table

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.

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. Sporophytes reproduce asexually. 

Sporophytes, however, can produce both sexual and asexual spores. The Sporophyte produces haploid spores or meiospores by the process of meiosis.

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.

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.


Main Differences Between Sporophyte and Gametophyte

  1.  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.  
  2. Sporophytes produce microspores and megaspores, whereas Gametophytes produce male gametes and female gametes. 
Difference Between Sporophyte and Gametophyte
  1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/171/3976/1155.abstract 
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.2307/1222089 

Last Updated : 22 July, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Sporophyte vs Gametophyte: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The connection between the generations in plant life cycles is clearly explained, especially in relation to nourishment.

  2. The process of meiosis used by Sporophytes and the process of mitosis used by Gametophytes is a key distinction that is clearly described.

  3. Avatar of Collins Rebecca
    Collins Rebecca

    The decline in Gametophytes due to changes in plant life presents an important perspective on plant biology.

  4. The comparison table provides a very comprehensive overview of the differences between Sporophyte and Gametophyte.

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