[ mī′krə-spôr′ə-jĕnĭ-sĭs ]
Save This Word!

The formation of microspores inside the microsporangia (or pollen sacs) of seed plants. A diploid cell in the microsporangium, called a microsporocyte or a pollen mother cell, undergoes meiosis and gives rise to four haploid microspores. Each microspore then develops into a pollen grain (the microgametophyte).
"Is" it time for a new quiz? "Are" you ready? Then prove your excellent skills on using "is" vs. "are."
Question 1 of 7
IS and ARE are both forms of which verb?
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


What is microsporogenesis?

Microsporogenesis is the process by which extremely tiny spores are formed in the pollen sacs of seed plants. They eventually develop into pollen grains, which are dispersed and help the plant reproduce.

Spores are reproductive parts of an organism, especially those of plants and fungi.

Microsporogenesis is similar to megasporogenesis, which produces larger, egglike female reproductive cells. These combine with the pollen to produce new plants.

Why is microsporogenesis important?

Pollen is that stuff that makes you sneeze, but it’s also an essential part of plant reproduction. Pollen is formed out of tiny spores and is developed through microsporogenesis, an important part of how plants reproduce. This is all right there in the word: micro- means “tiny,” sporo refers to spores, and genesis refers to creation or generation. So, microsporogenesis is the generation of tiny spores inside of plants.

Pollen is the male gametophyte (reproductive phase) of seed plants, and each grain of pollen conveys a very small number of sperm cells to the embryo sac of the plant.  But the pollen grains have to be created themselves first, and this is done through microsporogenesis. In the center of the pollen sacs, cells that are neither male nor female form into reproductive cells, each of which undergoes meiosis (splitting) into four microspores. Each of these four tiny spores then becomes one male pollen grain. This happens many times, so that multiple pollen grains are created. The pollen can then be released to find its way to the ovule or “egg,” either its own or that of another plant of the same species.

The ovule is produced by another process called megasporogenesis. Understanding microsporogenesis and megasporogenesis is crucial to understanding plant reproduction.

Did you know … ?

The process of microsporogenesis creates pollen, whose name comes from a Latin term meaning “powder” or “fine flour.” So pollen is literally flower flour.

What are real-life examples of microsporogenesis?

Microsporogenesis is typically discussed in the contexts of botany and biology.

What other words are related to microsporogenesis?

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

In microsporogenesis, tiny plant spores develop into pollen grains.