Meaning of alternation of generations in English:

alternation of generations


mass nounBiology
  • A pattern of reproduction occurring in the life cycles of many lower plants and some invertebrates, involving a regular alternation between two distinct forms. The generations are alternately sexual and asexual (as in ferns) or dioecious and parthenogenetic (as in some jellyfishes).

    ‘Like plants and many protists, brown algae undergo a complex life cycle involving alternation of generations.’
    • ‘In many organisms with both sexual and asexual reproduction, including most sexual protists, fungi, algae, and nonseed plants, sex involves an alternation of generations between haploid and diploid phases.’
    • ‘Although they are often unicelled and simple, some algae have a 1n - 2n life cycle which constitutes an alternation of generations.’
    • ‘Cnidarians show an alternation of generations in which two body forms, the polyp and the medusa, alternate.’
    • ‘In an alternation of generations the other phase produces a brownish gall on cedars.’