Difference Between Spore and Vegetative Cell

Main Difference – Spore vs Vegetative Cell

Spore and vegetative cell are two types of cells that occur during the lifecycle of the animals, plants, and other lower organisms such as fungi, algae, and prokaryotes. The main difference between spore and vegetative cell is that spore is a type of dormant, reproductive cell whereas vegetative cell is any cell except cells that produce gametes. Both spores and vegetative cells are produced in the asexual reproduction. Therefore, both types of cells comprise the same number of chromosomes in a particular species. Plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria produce spores as dispersive structures. The vegetative cells of the multicellular organisms are called somatic cells.   

Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Spore
      – Definition, Spores of Different Types of Organisms and Their Features
2. What is a Vegetative Cell
      – Definition, Vegetative Cells of Different Types of Organisms and Their Features
3. What are the Similarities Between Spore and Vegetative Cell
      – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Spore and Vegetative Cell
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Algae, Animals, Asexual Reproduction, Bacteria, Endospores, Fungi, Reproductive Cell, Spore, Somatic Cells, Plants, Tissue, Vegetative CellDifference Between Spore and Vegetative Cell - Comparison Summary

What is a Spore

A spore is a dormant, reproductive cell with a thick cell wall, which is highly resistant to unfavorable environmental conditions. When the conditions are favorable, a spore gives rise to a new individual of the same species. Spores do not fuse with other spores to produce an individual, like gametes. Therefore, spore formation is a type of asexual reproduction. Typically, plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria produce spores. A spore is very similar to a plant seed but may contain some stored food compared to a seed. Plants that undergo the alteration of generations produce spores as reproductive cells of the asexual generation. Lower plants such as ferns, mosses, hornworts, and liverworts produce spores, which act as seeds.

Main Difference - Spore vs Vegetative Cell

Figure 1: Spores under a Fern Leaf

Microspores and megaspores are the two types of spores produced by both angiosperms and gymnosperms. Microspores give rise to male gametophyte whereas macrospores give rise to female gametophytes. The spores under a fern leaf are shown in figure 1.

Difference Between Spore and Vegetative Cell_Figure 2

Figure 2: Fungal spores

Fungal spores are similar to those of plants. Fungal spores are produced by fruit bodies. These spores germinate when they get suitable temperature, moisture, and food sources. Some green algae produce monospores, which can be dispersed by water currents. Green algae produce either nonmotile aplanospores or motile zoospores. Bacterial spores are called endospores. Bacillus and Clostridium species are commonly produced spores. Bacterial spores are highly resistant types of spores. Some bacterial spores can survive even after pasteurization or sterilization. Since bacterial spores are highly dormant, they may cause diseases.  

What is a Vegetative Cell

A vegetative cell is any cell of the body except cells that participate in the production of gametes. Vegetative cells are produced from the preexisting cells by a process called asexual reproduction. The normal living cells of bacteria are vegetative cells. When the environmental conditions become unfavorable for normal functioning of bacterial cells, the endospores are produced. Endospores are the dormant type of cells that regrow into a new bacterium when the environmental conditions become favorable. The vegetative cells of the multicellular organisms are called somatic cells. The vegetative cells of the fungi form fungal hyphae. Hyphae is a tangle of thread-like structures. A mass of hyphae is called the mycelium. Vegetative cells of fungi consist of a thick cell wall.

Difference Between Spore and Vegetative Cell

Figure 3: Live Leaf Cells

In plants and animals, the body cells are organized into tissues, which contain similar types of cells performing a similar function. Plants possess three types of tissues: vascular tissue, epidermis, and the ground tissue. Animals possess four type of tissues; muscular tissue, nervous tissue, connective tissue, and epithelial tissue. In animals. These tissues are organized into organs and organ systems, which perform several functions. The live leaf cells in a moss are shown in figure 3

Similarities Between Spore and Vegetative Cell

  • Plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria comprise both spores as well as the vegetative cells.
  • Both spore and vegetative cell are formed as a result of the asexual reproduction.
  • Both spore and vegetative cell of a particular species comprise the same number of chromosomes.

Difference Between Spore and Vegetative Cell

Definition

Spore: A spore is a dormant, reproductive cell with a thick cell wall, which is highly resistant to unfavorable environmental conditions.

Vegetative Cell: A vegetative cell is any cell of the body except the cells that participate in the production of gametes.

Animals

Spore: Animals do not produce spores.

Vegetative Cell: The body cells of the animals except the cells involved in the formation of gametes are vegetative cells.

Significance

Spore: Spore cells are resistant to unfavorable conditions and when the conditions are favorable, spores regrow into a new individual.

Vegetative Cell: Vegetative cells are the normal functioning cells of the body.

Conclusion

Spore and vegetative cell are two types of cells produced by asexual reproduction. Spores are a type of reproductive cells produced under unfavorable conditions. When the conditions are favorable, spores germinate to form a new individual. Vegetative cells are the regular body cells in both multicellular and unicellular organisms, which perform the regular functions of the organism. Therefore, the main difference between spore and vegetative cell is their roles during the lifecycle of an organism.

Reference:

1.”Spore.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d. Web. Available here. 11 Aug. 2017. 
2.”Somatic Cells: Definition, Examples & Types.” Study.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Available here. 11 Aug. 2017. 

Image Courtesy:

1. “Spores under a fern leaf” By kaibara87 – originally posted to Flickr as Spores (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Puffball spores in SEM stereoscopic, magnification 5000x” By SecretDisc – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Bryum capillare leaf cells” By Des_Callaghan – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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