January 21, 2011

« There are instances of meiosis not being followed shortly after by fertilization, the haploid cell (the gamete) undergoing meanwhile numerous mitotic cell divisions, which result in building up a complete haploid individual. This is the case in the male bee, the drone, which is produced parthenogenetically, that is, from non-fertilized and therefore haploid eggs of the queen. […] There are families of plants in which the haploid gamete which is produced by meiosis, and is called a spore in such cases, falls to the ground and, like a seed, develops into a true haploid plant comparable in size with the diploid. […] The leafy lower part [of moss] is the haploid plant, called the gametophyte, because at its upper end it develops sex organs and gametes, which by mutual fertilization produce in the ordinary way the diploid plant, the bare stem with the capsule at the top. » ~ “What is life?”, Erwin Schroedinger.

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