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Homework Help: Are 'spores' some kind of 'seeds'?

  1. Dec 10, 2017 #1
    • New user has been reminded to fill out the Homework Help Template when starting a new schoolwork thread.
    < Mentor Note -- OP has edited the thread to add the HH Template -- Thank you! >

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I think that the spores produced by the bread mould plant are actually its seeds but my textbook says that it isn't.
    2. Relevant equations
    No any equation to mention
    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think that spores are seeds of bread mould because both spores and seeds perform the similar function, both of them developed into a new plant under favourable environmental conditions.
    Do you agree with me?

    Note: I am a high school student and English is my second language. Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2017 #2

    Ygggdrasil

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    Bread mold (e.g. Rhizopus stolonifer and other molds) are not plants; they are fungi, a completely separate classification of life from plants. Evolutionarily, fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants.
     
  4. Dec 10, 2017 #3
    So,you mean to say that "spores" are not "seeds" in any way?
     
  5. Dec 10, 2017 #4

    Borek

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    Functionally spores and seeds serve the same purpose. Technically they are different things.

    You can make a hole in a plank with a nail or a drill bit, but you wouldn't call nail a drill bit.
     
  6. Dec 10, 2017 #5

    Ygggdrasil

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    In most definitions, seeds are specific to plant reproduction, so it would not be correct to call a fungal spore a seed. However, as Borek said, spores are like the fungal version of seeds.
     
  7. Dec 10, 2017 #6

    jim mcnamara

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    Seeds have "food" called endosperm, spores have none. Seeds have a plant embryo, spores have none. Many spores are VERY hard to kill off with cold or heat. Some can tolerate boiling temperatures, most can tolerate extended very cold temperatures, seeds cannot do any of this. Seeds come only from higher plants, spores are formed by bacteria and fungi.

    So. You decide whether the differences are important enough to say they make spores and seeds very different.
     
  8. Dec 10, 2017 #7

    phyzguy

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    I think the basic definition is that a spore is a single cell, while a seed contains a multi-cellular embryo, as jim mcnamara said.
     
  9. Dec 25, 2017 #8

    BillTre

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    From an evolutionary (evolving population) perspective, the question becomes:
    Do plants and fungi have a common ancestor, which had a something that could have evolved into spores and seeds in an continuous manner, until today.

    This would make it (a possibly unified trait of spore/seed) a homologue (or they would be homologous), in the cladistic sense (a derived trait; something inherited from a common ancestor).

    The cladistic ideal is a homologue that arises in the last common ancestor for two groups.
    The last common ancestor in question defines a larger clade, containing all of its descendants. These would be cladisticaly proper groups to name taxonomically.
    If the homologue is found only in the clade generated by the last common ancestor, it is synapomorphic for for that clade. A shared derived trait. Shared by the descendants, derived in some way by the ancestor, to make it different from what was there before. Its a trait that defines an evolutionary group, the clade (of species) defined by the particular common ancestor.
    Homolgues that were derived (made different from what was there before) at a time earlier than the last common ancestor for a group, define larger sizes of clades than those of the last common ancestor under study, in some particular case (or to the divergence point in the evolutionary lineages between different different groups that we can see today). These are sympleisomorphies inherited primitive traits. Not exactly informative for making decisions about which species go into a group at the level under consideration.

    In this case, either type should work.

    To many people, if its not a homologue, its not the same thing biologically.
    It would be convergent evolution of different (or independently derived, the cladist would say) things for the same function.
    I guess that common ancestor would be a(n) eukaryotic cell, but before there were plants and fungi.

    To require those functions, one might think they would have to be multicellular (to require a reproductive mechanism like a seed or spore).
    But a spore can be good to protect a single cell. So a function continuity might be possible.

    I don't know much about those guys (the common ancestor), but @jim mcnamara or @Ygggdrasil might.
     
  10. Dec 25, 2017 #9

    jim mcnamara

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    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/CollapsedtreeLabels-simplified.svg
    The following groups produce reproductive/somatic spores : Fungi, Plants, Algae, Slime molds, Protzoans, Many groups of bacteria.

    Fungi and animals are more closely related than fungi and plants, per the diagram. I think what you want - the LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) of prokaryotic organisms - would be the point before plant and fungi diverged. Fungi have chitin (like insects' exoskeleton) in the cell walls. Plants do not.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_universal_common_ancestor

    I think "spore" is a term for a resting phase or a reproductive phase that has evolved many different times, and happens to look more or less the same to people using microscopes.
     
  11. Jan 22, 2018 #10

    DrDu

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    Just wanted to point out that there are also plants which reproduce via spores, like ferns and mosses. I think you can also regard pollen as a form of spores.
     
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