an enclosure in which spores are formed

A sporangium (pl: sporangia) [1][2] is an enclosure in which spores are formed.[3] It can be a single cell or multicellular. All plants, fungi, and many other lineages form sporangia at some point in their life cycle. Sporangia can produce asexual spores by mitosis, but in nearly all land plants and many fungi, sporangia are the site of meiosis, and produce genetically unique haploid spores.

Mature sporangium of a Absidia mould
Moss sporangia (capsules)
Sporangia (sori) on a fern leaf
Equisetum arvense strobilus cut open to reveal sporangia

In flowering plants the sporangium tissue (except the epidermis) that produces the female spores is also called the nucellus.[4]

References change

  1. modern Latin, from Greek spora ‘spore’ + angeion ‘vessel'.
  2. also known as sporanges (sing., sporange) Oxford [1][permanent dead link]
  3. Rost, Barbour, Stocking, Murphy, 2006. Plant biology. 2nd ed, Thompson Brooks/Cole.
  4. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, Glossary, retrieved 10 May 2015