1 Biology A minute, typically one-celled, reproductive unit capable of giving rise to a new individual without sexual fusion, characteristic of lower plants, fungi, and protozoans.
- Grain mold fungi also produce spores capable of aerial dispersal in the field as well as within a grain storage bin.
- Bunt fungi survive as resting spores on contaminated seed.
- Many questions concerning toxicity and allergenicity have been raised about corn contaminated with the spores of this fungus.
1.1 Botany (In a plant exhibiting alternation of generations) a haploid reproductive cell which gives rise to a gametophyte.
- When contaminated seeds are planted, bunt spores germinate in the presence of moisture and infect the wheat seedlings.
- After landing on a host plant, spores germinate and produce a germ tube that grows across the leaf surface.
- A spore can infect a plant and cause a new lesion which will produce spores in 7-10 days.
1.2 Microbiology (In bacteria) a rounded resistant form adopted by a bacterial cell in adverse conditions.
- In the production of dry milk these bacterial spores are able to survive the spray-drying process.
- A concentration of just 5 parts per million was adequate to eradicate 50,000 spores under laboratory conditions.
- While the spores are not extremely long lived, they could survive this form of movement.
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin spora, from Greek spora 'sowing, seed', from speirein 'to sow'.
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