Ascospore – Definition & Meaning

Ascospores are a type of spore that is produced by fungi. They are an important part of the fungal life cycle and play a key role in reproduction. In this article, we will define and explore the meaning of ascospores, their origin, and their associations.


An ascospore is a spore produced within an ascus, which is a sac-like structure found in some fungi. These spores are usually produced sexually and are formed as a result of meiosis.


The word “ascospore” is derived from the Greek words “askos,” meaning “sac,” and “spora,” meaning “seed.” The term was first used in the mid-19th century to describe the spores produced by certain fungi.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an ascospore is “a spore produced in an ascus.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a spore formed within an ascus, especially in ascomycete fungi.”


Ascospores are an important part of the life cycle of many fungi. They are produced by ascomycete fungi, which include many important plant pathogens, such as powdery mildews and apple scab. Ascospores are also used in the production of certain foods, such as cheese and fermented beverages.


There are no commonly used synonyms for ascospore.


There are no commonly used antonyms for ascospore.

The same root words

The root words “askos” and “spora” are also found in other scientific terms, such as “conidiospore” and “zoospore.”

Example Sentences

  • The ascospores of the powdery mildew fungus are easily spread by wind and rain.
  • The cheese-making process involves the use of fungal ascospores.
  • The ascus is a sac-like structure that contains the ascospores.
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