- They are the first among the land plants, called as Amphibians of the plant kingdom as they live in the soil, but depends on water for reproduction.
- The Gametophyte is thallus like in primitive forms like Riccia and it is differentiated into rhizoids, stem and leaves in higher forms such as mosses.
- Bryophytes are devoid of xylem and Phloem, where rhizoids are responsible for absorption and fixation.
- Male sex organ (Antheridium) produces biflagellated antherozoids and female sex organ (Archegonium) with a swollen venter produces a single egg. Both the sex organs are multicellular.
- As the zygote is formed due to the fusion of antherozoid and egg, it produces a multicellular body known as the sporophyte, without undergoing reduction.
- Hence the life cycle of bryophytes consists of 2 phases – (i) Gametophyte and (ii) – Sporophyte.
- Smith, Takhtajan and Campbell divided bryophyte into 3 classes namely Hepaticae, Anthocerotae and Musci (or) Bryopsida.
- Hepaticopsida also called liverwort Eg. Marchantia, where Asexual reproduction occurs by fragmentation (or) by forming specialised structures called gemmae (green, multicellular and asexual buds).
- Elaters that are hygroscopic, which help in spore dispersal are present generally. But these are absent in Riccia.
- Common examples are Riccia, Marchantia, Porella, Pellia, Sphaerocarpos (bottle hepatic)
- Anthoceropsida has a horn-shaped sporophyte and is called hornworts.
- The sporophyte is partially dependent on the gametophyte
- Apospory is observed in same species of Anthoceropsida.
- Examples: Anthoceros, Megaceros, Dendroceros
- Bryopsida (or) Musci are called mosses which have an elaborate sporophyte than Anthoceropsida.
- Commonly known examples are Fumaria, Polytrichum, Sphagnum.
- The main plant body is gametophyte with a creeping protonema (Juvenile form) and a leafy gametophore (Adult form).
- Bryophytes, especially mosses prevent soil erosion.
- Sphagnum can absorb 18-26 times its weight of water and it is used in transportation and propagation, which acts as a replacement for adsorbent cotton.
- Sphagnum can also be used as peat, which is a good manure.
- Polytrichum extract is used to remove kidney stones.
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Part-4: View this video for the topic from 0:09 to 13:29
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