Key Difference – Sporangia vs Gametangia
Reproduction is in two modes; sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. Most of the fungi show asexual reproduction while some use sexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction is accomplished by the production of spores. Asexual spores are produced in the structures called sporangia. Hence, sporangia are asexual reproductive bodies. Sexual reproduction is accomplished by the production of sexual cells called gametes. Gametes are haploid, and the fusion of two male and female gametes produces a diploid zygote, which then develops into a new organism. Gametes are produced in the structures called gametangia. The key difference between sporangia and gametangia is that sporangia are the asexual structures that produce asexual spores while gametangia are the sexual structures that produce sexual spores or the gametes.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Sporangia
3. What are Gametangia
4. Similarities Between Sporangia and Gametangia
5. Side by Side Comparison – Sporangia vs Gametangia in Tabular Form
What are Sporangia?
Sporangium (plural – Sporangia) is a structure in which asexual spores are formed. Sporangia are possessed by many plants, bryophytes, algae and fungi. Spores are produced inside the sporangia by mitotic or meiotic cell divisions. Sporangium can be a single cell or multicellular structure. Sporangia produce many spores and protect the spores until they become mature enough for dispersal.
Most of the sporangia are spherical or cylindrical in shape. When the spores are ready for dispersal, sporangia walls break and release the spores to the environment. Sporangia are developed in the sporophytes. Sporophytes are diploid. Hence, sporangia produce spores mainly by meiosis.
What are Gametangia?
Gametangium (plural – Gametangia) is a specialized structure in which gametes are formed in algae, ferns, fungi and plants. Gametes are two types; male gamete and female gamete. They are sexual cells. Gametes are produced during the sexual reproduction. Gametes contain only one set of chromosomes and hence they are haploid. When two different gametes are fused, it results in a diploid cell called zygote. A zygote is the sexually produced diploid cell, which then develops into a new organism.
Gametangia are two types mainly; female gametangia and male gametangia. Female gametangia are known as archegonia or oogonia mostly in algae and fungi and primitive plants including gymnosperms. In angiosperms, female gametangia are known as embryo sacs. Female gametangia provide the site for fertilization. Since female gametes (egg cells) are non-motile, motile male gametes reach the female gametangia for fertilization.
Male gametangia are referred as antheridia. Antheridia produce sperms and release to outside for syngamy. Gametangia are found in the gametophytic generation. Gametophytes are haploid structures.
What are the Similarities Between Sporangia and Gametangia?
- Sporangia and gametangia are reproductive structures.
- Both structures produce spores or cells that are necessary to produce next generations.
- Within both structures, mitosis or meiosis occurs during spore production.
- Both structures are present in fungi, algae, liverworts, mosses etc.
- The spores and gametes that are produced by sporangia and gametangia are haploid.
- Sporangia and gametangia produce spores and gametes that are resistant to harsh environmental conditions.
What is the Difference Between Sporangia and Gametangia?
Sporangia vs Gametangia
|Sporangia are structures possessed by plants, mosses, algae, fungi that bear asexual spores for reproduction.||Gametangia are the structures that produce gametes.|
|Set of Chromosomes|
|Sporangia can be haploid or diploid structures.||Gametangia are always haploid in nature.|
|Sexual or Asexual in Nature|
|Sporangia are asexual structures.||Gametangia are sexual structures.|
|Sporangia produce spores and protect them from drying and damaging.||Gametangia produce gametes and protect them from drying and damaging.|
|Number of Spores or Gametes Produced|
|Sporangia produce many spores compared to gametangia.||Gametangia produce less number of gametes compared to sporangia.|
|Sporangia are developed in sporophytic generation.||Gametangia are developed in a gametophytic generation.|
Summary – Sporangia vs Gametangia
Sporangia and Gametangia are reproductive organs of different groups of organisms. Sporangia produce spores. Sporangia are mainly asexual structures in which asexual spores are produced. They can be single-celled or multicellular structures. A large number of spores are produced within the sporangia, and when they are matured, sporangia walls rupture and release the spores to the environment. When the spores meet the necessary food and conditions, they produce new organisms. Sporangia are located in the sporophytes. Gametangia produce gametes or the sex cells. There are two types of gametes; male gametes or sperms and female gametes or egg cells. Gametangia are sexual structures. And also they are haploid structures. Hence, gametangia produce gametes by mitosis. Gametangia are located in the gametophyte. This is the difference between sporangia and gametangia.
Download the PDF of Sporangia vs Gametangia
You can download the PDF version of this article and use it for offline purposes as per citation note. Please download the PDF version here: Difference Between Sporangia and Gametangia
1.“Gametangium.” Gametangium – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Available here
2.“Sporangium.” Sporangium – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Available here
1.’PSM V09 D427 Sporangia’By Popular Science Monthly Volume 9, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Liverwort life cycle’ (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply