The Life Cycle Of Mosses

The dominant form of a moss is a clump of green gametophytes. Look at the moss life cycle illustrated in Figure 30-1. Moss gametophytes produce gametes in two types of reproductive structures— antheridia and archegonia. An antheridium (AN-thuhr-ID-ee-uhm) is a male reproductive structure that produces hundreds of flagellated sperm by mitosis. An archegonium (AWR-kuh-GOH-nee-uhm) is a female reproductive structure that produces a single egg by mitosis. During moist periods, sperm break out of the antheridia and swim to the archegonia. One sperm fertilizes the egg at the base of an archegonium, forming a diploid zygote. Through repeated mitotic divisions, the zygote forms an embryo and develops into a sporophyte.

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