noun, plural: spores

A dormant, reproductive cell formed by certain organisms. It is thick-walled and highly resistant to survive under unfavorable conditions so that when conditions revert to being suitable it gives rise to a new individual.


Some of the spore-producing organisms are bacteria, fungi, algae and plants. In plants, a spore is similar to a seed by being a dispersal unit. The difference is that the spore has very little stored food resources compared with seeds. Some bacteria that can form spores are health hazards as they can survive pasteurization and sterilization.

Spores may be classified in the following ways:

Word origin: From Modern Latin spora, from Greek. spora "seed, a sowing," related to sporos "sowing," and speirein "to sow," from PIE *sper- "to strew"
Related forms: sporaceous (adjective)

Related terms:

  • Brand spore
  • Spore germination protease
  • Spore photoproduct lyase
  • Sporogenesis
  • Zoospores
  • Sporangium
  • sporophyte

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