Lenore Neigeborn raised the fascinating question, "what IS a spore".
Apart from being an epiphenomenon of sex (obviously that has to be a core
of the issue, and we could talk sex forever, probably), there remains
the problem, why aren't (half of) the damned things flagellated (and
all the other phenotypic questions). It might help to put the shoe on
the other foot: are vegetative diploids a spore's way of making more
spores? Why SPORES, really. Well, that question is a little bit
premature, I suppose. Would someone out there care to do the
descriptive work implied by Lenore's question ("what..."), but with an
eye on evolutionary issues?
rapr at med.pitt.edu