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A reproductive cell that can develop into an individual without first fusing with another reproductive cell (compare gamete). Spores are produced by plants, fungi, bacteria, and some protists. A spore may develop into an organism resembling the parent or into another stage in the life cycle, either immediately or after a period of dormancy. In plants showing alternation of generations, spores are formed by the sporophyte generation and give rise to the gametophyte generation. In ferns, the rows of brown reproductive structures on the undersurface of the fronds are spore-producing bodies.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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