A gametophyte produces gametes (male, female, or both) by means of mitosis. It is a haploid phase of plants, where each cell ends up with only one set of chromosomes. When the gametes, both male and female, fuse, a diploid zygote is formed. Through mitotic cell divisions, a sporophyte is created. This multicellular organism is diploid. Then, through meiosis the sporophyte produces spores. In a pine, the female gamete is the larger kind of pinecone. Its gametophytes remain within the ovules of the female cones of the pine and depend on the neighboring sporophyte tissues for their food.

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