Seaweed cystocarp. Light micrograph of a section through a reproductive structure called a cystocarp from a female of a Polysiphonia red alga. This seaweed can reproduce asexually or sexually. This sexual structure is the cystocarp, which contains carpospores. The carpospores germinate to form the diploid sporophyte, with unilocular sporangium. Meiosis (cell division) then forms four spores (tetraspores). These are released into the environment when the wall of the cystocarp breaks down. The spores germinate to form the gametophyte and new seaweed plants. Magnification: x37 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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