Biology

Reproduction

Life histories in red seaweeds are complex, and different reproductive structures have their own terminology.    

In Corallina officinalis male and female reproductive structures are found on separate plants. These structures develop in conceptacles - tiny flask-shaped structures just visible to the naked eye. 

After fertilisation, diploid spores are released which grow into a phase called the tetrasporophyte.  These plants look just like the male and female ones but they develop conceptacles which contain tetrasporangia. 

Each tetrasporangium contains four spores.  When mature, meiosis occurs in the tetrasporangium and haploid tetraspores are released.  These grow into male and female plants.