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– Life cycle
Sporophyte develops from fertilization of haploid egg cell by haploid sperm
– All land plants and most multicellular algae have alternating sporophyte and gametophyte phases
Sporophyte produces spores through meiosis
– Spores develop into haploid gametophyte
Gametophyte produces male/female gametes by mitosis
– Fusion of gametes forms diploid zygote
Zygote develops into new sporophyte
– Cycle known as alternation of generations

– Examples
– Mosses have dominant gametophyte generation
– Flowering plants’ sporophyte comprises whole body except pollen and embryo sac
– Bryophytes have dependent sporophyte phase
Algae have dominant gametophyte generations
– Clubmosses, horsetails, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms have independent sporophytes

– Evolutionary history
– Plants evolved heterospory during Devonian period
– Some plants have endospory, while others have exosporous development
Seed ferns developed female gametophytes within sporangia
– Heterospory and endospory crucial in seed evolution
– rRNA genes behavior differs in bryophytes and seed plants

– See also
Alternation of generations

– References
– Reski R: Development, genetics and molecular biology of mosses
– Bateman RM, Dimichele WA: Heterospory key innovation in plant evolution
– Matyášek R et al.: Unique epigenetic features of rRNA genes in early diverging plants
– Kenrick P, Crane PR: Origin and early evolution of land plants
– Taylor TN, Kerp H, Hass H: Life history biology of early land plants

Sporophyte (Wikipedia)

A sporophyte (/ˈspɔːr.əˌft/) is the diploid multicellular stage in the life cycle of a plant or alga which produces asexual spores. This stage alternates with a multicellular haploid gametophyte phase.

Diagram showing the alternation of generations between a diploid sporophyte (bottom) and a haploid gametophyte (top)
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