Plant Life Cycle and Alternation of Generations


This particular process is very common in different types of plants like algae as well as fungi. This process refers to the reproduction process of animals where diploid as well as haploid types of cells are found. The alteration process fully depends on the plants. For example, in the bryophytes category plants, the haploid is the dominant generation, and the diploid is the dominant generation in the tracheophytes category plants.

What is the alternation of generations?

The cycle of life of a plant is alternating between the diploid sporophyte as well as haploid gametophyte which mainly refers to the reproduction process whether it is sexual or it can be asexual.

That is why the cycle of life is called ‘alternation of generations’. The reproduction process of plants depends on both sexual as well as asexual so that plants can adapt in different types of atmospheres.

The cycle of life of alternation of generations

The cycle of life of a plant can be differentiated into multiple levels which featured separate characteristics.

  • The sporangium is the primary structure of the life cycle of a plant in terms of diploid sporophyte.

  • The spore improves into such organs for reproductions that are going through the mitosis process and form haploid gametes.

  • The gametes of plants generally fertilize in forming a haploid zygote that matures into a sporophyte within a mature stage. The cycle is continuously repeating all over the lifespan of a plant.

Alternation of generations: different stages

Multiple stages can be seen in this generation process and each stage signifies a particular perspective.

Generations of sporophyte

In the case of two different haploid gametes, fusing together and they form a diploid zygote. Through several mitosis rounds, this type of generation is completed within an organism which has different cells. After it became mature, a reproductive organ is developed namely sporangia. This refers to the most important key point of the generation process and the spores are mainly released as well as carried away with the help of air as well as water

Generations of gametophytes

This is the most important type of generation which mainly starts after the sporophyte. In this stage of the generation, a spore is generally formed newly, which has a DNA as parental organism.

In this process, the spore is going through multiple times of mitosis processes and forms a gametophyte. In this type of generation, games are also made with the help of gametangia. Then the gametes are kept between plants as well as it is also spread into the surrounding environment.

If gametes are encountered with another gamete of different sex then it fuses with a particular form like a zygote that gradually turns into a sporophyte. This is one of the simplest versions of generations and this type of generation is mostly seen in ferns.

Flowering plant: the life cycle

A flowering plant is going through some significant events all over the life cycle of a plant.

  • Germination − A plant pass through a process of germination and starts to develop from the state of seed. The roots of plants are generally formed under the earth while leaves as well as stem arrears on the earth.

  • Pollination − Pollens of a plant are mostly carried with the help of winds as well as different types of insects to other flowers. This process is called pollination.

  • Fertilization − The pollens mainly travel to the flower’s ovary where the gametes and the male are fused. This process is known as fertilization.

  • Dispersal − In this stage, the seeds of a plant are generally scattered with the help of animals as well as different objects. Some types of seeds also have energy within a new plant.

In this particular process, the cycle of life of a plant starts with a small seed. Then the seed sprouts and form a seedling. After that, the seedlings are commonly converted to a new plant that mainly forms new seeds. This cycle is continuing all over the life cycle of a plant. The cycle of a plant’s life is very complicated and the advantage of it is that total control of genetic perspective is provided by it


The life cycle of a plant is one of the two separate types of generations that is dominant over another. The plants mainly develop larger as well as live longer compared to the other plants within the generations of dominant. The generation of non-dominant is generally smaller than dominant as well as hardly seen in the cycle of life of a plant. In ferns, the generation of dominant is commonly seen while the plants of non-vascular refer to the gametophyte.


Q1. What is pollination?

Ans: Pollination can be defined as the stage of pre-fertilization in which pollen obtains from another that is transferred to the flower sigma. Two different types of pollination can be seen self-pollination as well as cross-pollination.

Q2. What is called the germination of seeds?

Ans: The germination of seeds can be defined as the fundamental procedure when the different types of plants develop from a seed to a plant. These procedures also influence the yield of crops along with the quality. Angiosperms, as well as gymnosperm, are some examples of the germination of seeds.

Q3. What are the stages of life of a plant?

Ans: Several stages can be seen throughout the lifespan of a plant like germination of seeds, growth of plants and the reproduction of production. Besides this, pollination, as well as the process of spreading seeds, is other important stages of the germination of seeds.

Updated on: 20-Feb-2023


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