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16.3: Variation in Plant Life Cycles

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Lesson 16.3: True or False

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Write true if the statement is true or false if the statement is false.

_____ 1. A plant species has either a haploid gametophyte phase, or a diploid sporophyte phase, but not both.

_____ 2. Meiosis in the sporangium produces haploid spores.

_____ 3. A haploid spore develops into a haploid gametophyte.

_____ 4. Fertilization of gametes produces a haploid zygote.

_____ 5. The dominant generation in vascular plants is the gametophyte.

_____ 6. In nonvascular plants, archegonia are the male reproductive organs.

_____ 7. Ferns are seedless vascular plants.

_____ 8. A new sporophyte fern plant develops from a fertilized egg and sperm.

_____ 9. Gymnosperms are flowering vascular plants.

_____ 10. Cones are the reproductive structure in gymnosperms.

_____ 11. The dots on the back of fern fronds are sporangia.

_____ 12. Gymnosperms have male cones and female cones.

_____ 13. Angiosperms are flowering nonvascular plants.

_____ 14. Angiosperms produce pollen.

_____ 15. Fruit develops from a ripened ovary surrounding a seed.

Lesson 16.3: Critical Reading

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Read these passages from the text and answer the questions that follow.

Life Cycle of Gymnosperms

Gymnosperms are vascular plants that produce seeds in cones. Examples include conifers, such as pine and spruce trees. The gymnosperm life cycle has a dominant sporophyte generation. Both gametophytes and the next generation’s new sporophytes develop on the sporophyte parent plant. A diagram of a gymnosperm life cycle is shown below.

(Image courtesy of APS and under the Creative Commons license CC-BY-SA 3.0.)

Cones form on a mature sporophyte plant. Inside male cones, male spores develop into male gametophytes. Each male gametophyte consists of several cells enclosed within a grain of pollen. Inside female cones, female spores develop into female gametophytes. Each female gametophyte produces an egg inside an ovule.

Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from a male to female cone. If sperm then travel from the pollen to an egg so fertilization can occur, a diploid zygote results. The zygote develops into an embryo within a seed, which forms from the ovule inside the female cone. If the seed germinates, it may grow into a mature sporophyte tree, which repeats the cycle.


1. In a complete sentence, define gymnosperm.

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2. Name a few examples of gymnosperms.

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3. Where do male and female gametophytes develop in gymnosperms?

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4. Describe sexual reproduction in gymnosperms.

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5. What are the advantages of sexual reproduction?

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Lesson 16.3: Multiple Choice

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Circle the letter of the correct choice.

  1. In plants, sperm and eggs are produced by
    1. mitosis in reproductive organs of the gametophyte.
    2. mitosis in the diploid sporophyte.
    3. meiosis in the zygote.
    4. mitosis of root hairs.
  2. The gametophyte generation is dominant in
    1. pine trees, spruce trees, and maple trees.
    2. clubmosses, ginkgo, and cycads.
    3. hornworts, liverworts, and mosses.
    4. all of the above.
  3. In nonvascular plants, eggs are produced
    1. by the same structure that produces sperm.
    2. in female reproductive organs called archegonia.
    3. in male reproductive organs called archegonia.
    4. by mitosis in the diploid sporophyte.
  4. In seedless vascular plants,
    1. spores fuse to form a zygote.
    2. there are no antheridia.
    3. the haploid gametophyte generation dominates.
    4. the diploid sporophyte generation dominates.
  5. Gymnosperms are
    1. seedless nonvascular plants.
    2. flowering nonvascular plants.
    3. vascular plants producing flowers.
    4. vascular plants producing seeds in cones.
  6. Gymnosperms reproduce using
    1. xylem and phloem.
    2. pollen and female cones.
    3. flowers and wind.
    4. antheridia and spores.
  7. In pollen grains, ________ are formed.
    1. eggs
    2. sperm
    3. female reproductive structures
    4. ovules
  8. In angiosperms, the ________ produces eggs via meiosis.
    1. stamen
    2. pollen tube
    3. pistil
    4. seed

Lesson 16.3: Vocabulary I

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Match the vocabulary word with the proper definition.


_____ 1. responsible for long distance water transport in many plants

_____ 2. the diploid phase in a plant with alternation of generations

_____ 3. haploid female gamete

_____ 4. male haploid gamete

_____ 5. structure producing haploid spores by meiosis

_____ 6. having two chromosomes of each type

_____ 7. having one chromosome of each type

_____ 8. the haploid phase of a plant's life cycle during which it makes gametes

_____ 9. cell division resulting in cells with half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell

_____ 10. cell division resulting in cells with the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell

_____ 11. female reproductive organ in nonvascular plants; produces egg cells

_____ 12. male reproductive organs in nonvascular plants; produce sperm


a. antheridia

b. archegonia

c. diploid

d. egg

e. gametophyte

f. haploid

g. meiosis

h. mitosis

i. sperm

j. sporangium

k. sporophyte

l. vascular tissue

Lesson 16.3: Vocabulary II

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Fill in the blank with the appropriate term.

1. Nonvascular plants have male reproductive organs called __________.

2. Nonvascular plants have female reproductive organs called __________.

3. Cells with two chromosomes of each type are __________.

4. Cells with one chromosome of each type are __________.

5. Xylem and phloem make up the __________.

6. The female gamete is the __________.

7. The male gamete is the __________.

8. Cell division that maintains the same number of chromosomes in the offspring cells is __________.

9. Cell division that results in offspring cells with half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell is __________.

10. The diploid phase of the plant life cycle is the __________ generation.

11. The haploid phase of the plant life cycle is the __________ generation.

12. The __________ forms spores.

Lesson 16.3: Critical Writing

Name___________________ Class______________ Date________

Thoroughly answer the question below. Use appropriate academic vocabulary and clear and complete sentences.

What are some of the main similarities and differences between gymnosperms and angiosperms, with respect to seed formation?

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