An antheridium (plural: antheridia) is a haploid structure or organ producing and containing male gametes (called "antherozoids" or sperm). It is present in the gametophyte phase of lower plants like mosses and ferns, and also in the primitive vascular psilotophytes. Many algae and some fungi, for example ascomycetes and water moulds, also have antheridia during their reproductive stages.

An antheridium typically consists of sterile cells and spermatogenous tissue. The sterile cells may form a central support structure or surround the spermatogenous tissue as a protective jacket. The spermatogenous cells give rise to spermatids via mitotic cell division. In bryophytes, the antheridium is borne on an "antheridiophore", a stalk-like structure that carries the antheridium at its top.

In many gymnosperms and all angiosperms, the male gametophytes have been reduced to pollen grains and their antheridia have been reduced to a single generative cell within the pollen grain. During pollination, this generative cell divides and gives rise to two sperm nuclei.

The female counterpart to the antheridium is the archegonium.


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  • Antheridium — (rot) und Oogon (rechts daneben) der Armleuchteralge Chara contraria Das Antheridium (Plural: Antheridien; vom Griechischen antheros = blühend) ist ein Begriff aus der Botanik und bezeichnet das männliche Gametangium (Sexualorgan) bei kryptogamen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Antheridium — An ther*id i*um, n.; pl. {Antheridia}. [Anther + ? (a Gr. diminutive ending).] (Bot.) The male reproductive apparatus in the lower plants, consisting of a cell or other cavity in which spermatozoids are produced; called also {spermary}. {An… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • antheridium — antheridium. См. антеридий. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Antheridĭum — (griech.), das männliche Geschlechtsorgan der Kryptogamen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Antheridium — Antheridium, vielzelliges, von sterilen Zellen umgebenes m Gametangium der Moose und Farnpflanzen, in dem aus je einer Zelle des spermatogenen Gewebes zwei Spermatozoide hervorgehen …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • antheridium — [an΄thər id′ē əm] n. pl. antheridia [an΄thər id′ēə] [ModL < anthera (see ANTHER) + Gr dim. suffix idion] in flowerless and seedless plants (cryptogams), the organ in which the male sex cells are developed antheridial adj …   English World dictionary

  • antheridium — noun (plural antheridia) Etymology: New Latin, from anthera Date: 1839 the male reproductive organ of some cryptogamous plants • antheridial adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • antheridium — (an ther id e um; pl., antheridia) A male gamete producing organ, which may be unicellular or multicellular …   Dictionary of microbiology

  • antheridium — antheridial, adj. /an theuh rid ee euhm/, n., pl. antheridia / theuh rid ee euh/. Bot., Mycol. a male reproductive structure producing gametes, occurring in ferns, mosses, fungi, and algae. [1850 55; < NL; see ANTHER, IDIUM] * * * …   Universalium

  • antheridium — noun An organ producing male gametes called antherozoids, found in lower plants …   Wiktionary