Difference Between Zoospore and Zygote


Main Difference

The main difference between the Zoospore and the Zygote is that Zoospore is the asexual spore, whereas Zygote is the form of fused gametes from sexual reproduction.

Zoospore vs. Zygote

Zoospores are special spores produced by some species of living organisms, which include bacteria, algae, and fungi. Zygote formation takes place in the higher kingdoms of lineage, such as animals and plants, as one of the complex organisms. Zoospores are usually flagellated of various kinds such as whiplash and tinsel in different orders of fungi, whereas zygote is not a flagellated reproductive stage.

Zoospores are motile as they move by flagella in different patterns as steering or propelling movement. The zygote is non-motile due to the absence of flagella in them. Zoospores may be haploid as 1n or diploid as 2n, while zygote is always diploid as it results from the fusion of two haploid cells as in humans two haploid cells with 23 chromosomes combine to form a zygote.


Zoospores are the result of asexual reproduction as one parent gives rise to daughter cells, whereas zygote formed as a result of sexual reproduction by fusion of two haploid cells. Zoospores play an essential role in the dispersal of spores; on the other hand, the zygote is not of dispersal importance as plays less role.

Zoospores always formed in the structure called zoosporangium. Zygote formation takes place by the fusion of two male and female gametes.

Comparison Chart

Zoospore is formed by the asexual reproduction in kingdoms, which are algae, fungi, or protozoans.The zygote is formed by the sexual reproduction in higher animals include plants and animals.
Spores are inside the zoosporangium.Two gametes are fused.
Haploid (1n) or diploid (2n).Diploid (2n).
Flagellated structureNon-flagellated
Motile sporesNon-motile
Kind of Reproduction
Asexual reproductionSexual reproduction
Role in Dispersion
Play a significant role in dispersal.Little role in dispersal.
Occurrence in Organisms
Prokarytae, Protista, FungiAnimals, Plants

What is Zoospore?

Zoospore is one of the asexual spores found in three of the five kingdoms which are Prokaryotae, Protoctista, and Fungi, for their propagation. It is a kind of motile spore that uses flagellum, which is used as a source of locomotion. It produced inside the zoosporangium, which is asexual structure as sporangium (enclosure in which spores produced).

Some of the characteristics of the zoospores are that they are naked specialized spores for the dispersal role as they cannot divide and absorb organic nutrients from the environment. They can also swim for many hours as it is the property of swimming zoospores by using endogenous food reserves. They can respond to environmental signals which are used to locate the encyst site.


The swimming zoospores of fungi may show in various ways as chemotaxis (response to chemical gradients), aerotaxis (response to oxygen), phototaxis (response to light), galvanotaxis (respond to the ionic or electrical field), rheotaxis (swimming against water currents). They have tinsel(for steering purpose) and whiplash types of flagella.

Types of Zoospores

  • Opisthokont: It is posterior whiplash flagella in most of the eukaryotes, such as fungi and animals like Chytriodimycota, whereas Neocallimastigales have up to 16 flagella.
  • Anisokont: It is a kind of biflagellate with two flagella of whip-like shape in some of the orders of Myxomycota and Plasmodiophoromycota of fungi.
  • Heterokont: It has biflagellate zoospores with both of whiplash and tinsel type flagella either attached anteriorly or laterally as in oomycete and some Heterokonts.

What is Zygote?

The zygote is the form of cells having a complex structure of organized genetic material. The zygote is a kind of the eukaryotic cell formed from the fusion of two gametes by the process of fertilization. The “zygote” word is derived from the Greek origin word “zygotos,” which means “joined or yoked” in the convention. It is also regarded as the fertilized ovum due to sperm and egg fusion. The zygote contains the genes from both of the parents. It contains all the information in the form of DNA from each of the gamete cells.

It is the form of fused spermatozoa (sperm) and (oocyte) egg cell. The sperm cell is the male reproductive cell, whereas the egg cell is the female reproductive cell. The zygote is one of the earliest stages of development in multicellular organisms. Zygote leads to the formation of an embryo, which eventually forms the fetus. Identical twins are produced by asexual reproduction when zygote divides.

Zygotes in Kingdoms of Living Organisms

Human Zygote: A released haploid ovum and haploid sperm combine to form the single haploid cell called a zygote. In humans, a zygote is implanted in the uterus, which divides by mitosis.

Plants Zygote: It is formed inside the archegonium in the female reproductive chamber, whereas zygote may be polyploid if unreduced gametes get fertilized.

In Fungi: Karyogamy takes place in fungi, which is the fusion of haploid cells. Thus, as a result, the diploid cell formed as a zygospore or zygote.

In Protozoans: The cell division takes place in which parent cell cleaves into two daughter cells.

Key Differences

  1. Zoospores may be haploid as 1n or diploid as 2n (fused from two gametes), whereas zygote is always diploid 2n.
  2. Zoospores exhibit asexual reproduction; on the other hand, zygote formation is a result of sexual reproduction.
  3. Zoospores are flagellated on the other side; zygote is non-flagellated.
  4. Zoospores are motile, while zygotes are non-motile.
  5. Zoospores take part in the dispersal; conversely, zygote does not take part in the dispersal.
  6. Zoospore formation takes place in the lower animals as algae, fungi, and protozoans, whereas zygote formation takes place in higher animals as animals and plants.
  7. Zoospore formation occurs inside the structure called zoosporangium, while zygote formation occurs by the fusion of gametes.


Zoospore formed by the asexual reproduction in the zoosporangium, which may be haploid or diploid whereas zygote formed by sexual reproduction, which is diploid.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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