In my plant reproduction book there are two distinct definitions for these two terms, but when I read them I found out that they are very much alike that I was confused and couldn't catch the difference between them. I searched on Google and found this on wikidiff:

As adjectives the difference between homothallic and monoecious is that homothallic is (of some algae and fungi) producing male and female reproductive structures in the same plant while monoecious is (botany) that has male and female reproductive organs on the same individual plant (rather than on separate individuals).

But, still, isn't this the same sentence using another words? Thanks for answering.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Anonymous I rolled back your last edit because the text you edited is taken directly from Wikidiff and so should, I think, be left as is even though it could be better phrased. $\endgroup$ – Jack Aidley Jan 28 at 14:29

The difference is that they come from different scientific traditions and describe the same idea for different kinds of organisms. Homothallic is applied to fungi and algae, whilst monoecious is applied to plants (and sometimes invertebrates). This use of different words to describe the same phenomena in different types of organisms is unfortunately quite common. You could also had hermaphrodite as another example for organisms with both male and female reproductive parts. One can point to crude phenotypic differences to justify the distinction in terms but the underlying concepts are the same.

I note as well that the separation into different types of organism used is usually based on older classification systems rather than reflecting any biological reality.


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