Difference Between Gametophytes and Sporophytes (With Table)

A life cycle is a sequence of changes they undergo in various stages starting from an initial point. For example, if you are told by someone that you possess the same features as your aunt and not your mother, it means that you have the same genetic information similar to your aunt’s. Though it may seem surreal, this is how alternating generation is defined as.

Gametophytes vs Sporophytes

The main difference between Gametophytes and Sporophytes is the type of phase they play in a plant’s life. Gametophytes are known as the diploid segment of the plant cycle and the Sporophytes are the haploid part of the plant cycle.

Diploid means two sets of chromosomes which is again an integral part of the cell structure that carried the DNA, proteins, etc and Haploid is one set of chromosomes. It is denoted as 2n and n respectively.


Comparison Table Between Gametophytes and Sporophytes (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of the Comparison



What are they?

A sexual process of a plant body where gametes are produced in the alternation of generations.

A non-sexual phase in the lifetime of a plant body where spores are created.


Only one set of chromosomes since it has haploid cells.

Two sets of chromosomes are seen here since sporophytes has diploid cells.

The end product

Gametophytes results in the formation of spores which are agents of asexual reproduction in plants. They are formed by fungi, algae, etc.

Gametes are the end product of sporophytes. Gametes are also known as sex cells and they are for two kinds: Female gametes called the eggs and sperm is the male gametes.

Where can you find them?

It is found mostly in vascular plants like tree ferns, horsetails, liliales, Rhyniophyte, etc.

In non-vascular plants like Silvery bryum, Common liverwort, Funaria hygrometrica, etc we can find the sporophyte phase to be foremost.

Kind of phase

It is a haploid phase which involves multiple cells that are differentiated in function.

Here the diploid phase takes place where the spores are divided to get two haploid cells.


What is Gametophytes?

Even though both gametophytes and sporophytes are the two stages in a plant life, they are equally responsible in producing the haploid cells which are the gametes and spores. Looking at the differences, there are many of them too.  By the frequent changes seen in plants, the gametophytes have been increasingly decreased and constrained to small cells.

The cycle begins by the haploid spores that are primarily given by the sporophytes. Since it’s a sexual process, so the male and female gametes which combine together to form something called the zygote which is a fully fertilized egg cell.

Then the following generation of sporophytes gets started by the zygote and so does the alternation of generations continue to take place in the lifetime of a plant.

Just like sporophytes have sporangia as the sex organ, the gametangia which is blend of archegonia and antheridia are the sex organs in gametophytes. You can see a higher phase of gametophytes in plants like Bryophytes and Algae.


What is Sporophytes?

The sporophytes are credited for being the asexual part of a plant body. They happen to produce the sporangia which are the containers where the spores of the plant are being produced. Then the diploid sporophytes fabricate the spores which has one set of chromosomes.

Then it is being generated into the multicellular haploid spores which are known as the gametophytes. They then actively participate in the development of new plants by the asexual reproduction. Nourishment for sporophytes is received from the Gametophytes. Plants like Gymnosperms and angiosperms have a higher dominant phase of Sporophytes.

Main Differences Between Gametophytes and Sporophytes

  1. Gametes are formed by the meiosis (the reduction method where there is a cell division in the nucleus and four gametes cells are produced) process, the spores are formed by the mitosis (the process where cell renewal takes place in the nucleus) method.
  2. A fertilized egg cell which is also called a zygote develops to create sporophytes, whereas the gametophytes are produced by the haploid spore that is produced by the meiosis process.
  3. Sexual reproduction takes place in gametophytes and then the sporophytes produce the spores by asexual reproduction.
  4. Gametophytes in turn produces the female and male gametes, sporophytes can be seen to produce the megaspores and the microspores.
  5. There is a dominant sporophytes phase in higher plants like pteridophytes, there is a reduced level of gametophytes in higher plants like pteridophytes.



Adjustment of age is a typical element in the existence pattern of plants. Subsequently, the existence cycle goes by means of two particular stages; the biogenetic stage and the sexual stage. Gametophyte and sporophyte are the two stages that happen during the change of ages in plants.

The gametophyte is created by the germination of haploid spores. Subsequently, it is likewise haploid. The sporophyte is created from the diploid zygote that is framed during the treatment of gametes.

The gametophyte produces gametes while the sporophyte produces spores. During advancement, the sporophyte gets prevailing over the gametophyte. The sporophyte of higher plants is separated into root, stem, and leaves also.

Then again, gametophytes are haploid and have a solitary arrangement of chromosomes. Along these lines, this is the key distinction among sporophyte and gametophyte.

Moreover, sporophyte produces haploid spores while the gametophyte produces male and female gametes.

In bryophytes and green growth, gametophyte age is predominant while in pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms, the gametophyte age is prevailing.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=JwDthRlvb48C&oi=fnd&pg=PA187&dq=Gametophytes+and+Sporophytes&ots=rHJhNjrkQy&sig=zDFUZFh4zJq_G1M-nQeeS-zCyME
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030573640191368X