Plant Kingdom

Bryophyte


  • 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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