Life Cycle

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Oh, how cool. The life cycle of a laminaria! Let's learn more about it. Laminaria goes through a heteromorphic alternation of generations. This means that if has two different "forms" of itself: a diploid and a hapoid. The diploid is known as the sporophyte because of its production of spores. These are usually found in water just below the line of lowest tides. They usually attached with branching holdfasts to roacks. At the end of the main growing season, sporangia develops from the surface cells. The sporangia, in turn, produce two types of zoospores by the process known as meiosis. One of the zoospores grows into the male gametophytes and the other develops into the female gametophyte. The gametophytes are short, branched filaments and grow on the surface of subtidal rocks. The male parts produce sperm and the female parts produce eggs. The sperm is released, whereas the eggs remain attached to the gametophyte. The sperm reaches the female gametophyte by a chemical signal secreted by the eggs that attract sperm of the same species. The sperm then fertilizes the egg and the zygotes grow into sporophytes, starting all over again. Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary.


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