Difference Between Gamete and Gametophyte l Gamete vs Gametophyte


The key difference between gamete and gametophyte is that the gamete is the sex cell produced by the sex organs of the gametophyte while the gametophyte is the male or female haploid stage of the life cycle of certain organisms including plants and algae.

In the life cycle of plants and certain organisms, male and female gametophytes can be seen. Male gametophyte produces male gametes while female gametophyte produces female gametes. Male and female gametes are the haploid sex cells or germ cells, which involve sexual reproduction. They undergo fertilization process and produce a diploid zygote that can develop into a completely new individual.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Gamete
3. What is Gametophyte
4. Similarities Between Gamete and Gametophyte
5. Side by Side Comparison – Gamete vs Gametophyte in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is Gamete?

Gamete is a haploid cell that contains half of the chromosome set or the half of the genetic material of an organism. It can be male or female gamete. Gamete is able to fuse with the opposite sex gamete to form a diploid cell called zygote. Thus, it is a mature sex cell that involves in the sexual reproduction. Then the zygote divides by mitosis and becomes a complete organism.

Difference Between Gamete and Gametophyte l Gamete vs Gametophyte

Figure 01: Gametes

Gametophytes are the sexual phase of the life cycle which produces gametes. They are a haploid stage. Hence they produce gametes via mitosis. When gametes unite, it results in genetically different offspring, unlike sporophytic generation.

What is Gametophyte?

Gametophyte is the sexual stage of life cycle of certain organisms. It is one of the two alternating phases of the life cycle. There are two types of gametophytes; female gametophyte and male gametophyte. Sex organs of the gametophytes produce gametes for the sexual reproduction. Female gametophyte produces egg cells or the female gametes while male gametophyte produces sperm cells or the male gametes.

Difference Between Gamete and Gametophyte l Gamete vs Gametophyte

Figure 02: Gametophytes

Gametophytes are haploid multicellular structures. Plants have heteromorphic gametophytes, megagametophyte and microgametophyte while some lower plants have male and female gametophytes which are not distinguishable. Furthermore, some plants have monoicous gametophytes while some have dioicous gametophytes. Monoicous gametophyte produces both sperm and eggs whereas dioicous gametophytes produce separate gametes either sperm or egg but never both.

What are the Similarities Between Gamete and Gametophyte?

  • Gamete and gametophyte are haploid. Hence they contain half of the genetic material.
  • They involve in sexual reproduction.
  • Also, they contribute to the genetic diversity among the organisms.
  • Further, the gametes and gametophytes have both types of sex; male and female.

What is the Difference Between Gamete and Gametophyte?

Gamete and gametophyte are two haploid structures of sexual phase of the living cycles of plants and algae. Gametophytes contain sex organs that involve the production of gametes. On the other hand, the gametes are the sex cells or the germ cells, which undergo fertilization to form a zygote, which is diploid. Therefore, this is the key difference between gamete and gametophyte. Furthermore, the gametes and gametophytes are of two types; male and female. While the female gametophyte produces female gamete or the egg cell, the male gametophyte produces male gamete or the sperm cell. Moreover, another difference between gamete and gametophyte is that the gamete is a haploid unicellular structure while the gametophyte is a haploid multicellular structure.

The below infographic outlines the difference between gamete and gametophyte based on their struture, importance and role in the sexual reproduction.

Difference Between Gamete and Gametophyte l Gamete vs Gametophyte

Summary – Gamete vs Gametophyte

Life cycles of plants alternate mainly via two generations such as sexual phase and asexual phase. Here, the sexual phase is the gametophytic generation which is haploid. Further, the gametophytes bear sex organs to produce gametes or the sex cells. While the female gametophytes produce egg cells, the male gametophytes produce sperm cells. Besides, the gametes are also haploid, and they fuse with the opposite sex gamete during the sexual reproduction to form the zygote. This is the difference between gamete and gametophyte.

Reference:

1.“Gametophyte and Sporophyte.” BiologyWise, BiologyWise. Available here
2.Editors. “Gametophyte – Definition, Function and Examples.” Biology Dictionary, Biology Dictionary, 28 Apr. 2017. Available here  

Image Courtesy:

1.”Acetabularia mediterranea life”By LadyofHats – Own work, (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia 
2.”Gymnosperms and angiosperms thumb(10)” (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia  

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