kingdom classification

Source:  kingdom classification    Tag:  triploblastic

Animal Kingdom

Basis Of Classification

Levels of Organisation
1. Cellular Level: In unicellular animals and some multicellular animals, the cell is responsible for all the metabolic activities in the animal body. This type of organization of function is termed as cellular level of organization.
2. Tissue Level: In certain animals cells performing the same function are arranged in a group. Example: Coelenterates.
3. Organ Level: Some animals form specialized organs for specific functions. Example: Platyhelminthes.
4. Organ System Level: In higher and complex animals various organs group to form a complex organ system to perform specific function. Example: Molluscs, Chordata.

Symmetry

Animals can be categorised on the basis of their symmetry. Sponges are mostly asymmetrical, i.e., any plane that passes through the centre does not divide them into equal halves.
Radial Symmetry: When any plane passing through the central axis of the body divides the organism into two identical halves, it is called radial symmetry. Coelenterates, ctenophores and echinoderms have this kind of body plan. Bilateral Symmetry: Animals like annelids, arthropods, etc., where the body can be divided into identical left and right halves in only one plane, exhibit bilateral symmetry.
symmetry in body design
symmetry in body design
Diploblastic and Triploblastic Organisation
Animals in which the cells are arranged in two embryonic layers, an external ectoderm and an internal endoderm, are called diploblastic animals, e.g., coelenterates. An undifferentiated layer, mesoglea, is present in between the ectoderm and the endoderm.
Those animals in which the developing embryo has a third germinal layer, mesoderm, in between the ectoderm and endoderm, are called triploblastic animals (platyhelminthes to chordates).
diploblastic triploblastic
Coelom
Coelomates: Presence or absence of a cavity between the body wall and the gut wall is very important in classification. The body cavity, which is lined by mesoderm is called coelom. Animals possessing coelom are called coelomates, e.g., annelids, molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms, hemichordates and chordates.
Pseudoceolomates: In some animals, the body cavity is not lined by mesoderm, instead, the mesoderm is present as scattered pouches in between the ectoderm and endoderm. Such a body cavity is called pseudocoelom and the animals possessing them are called pseudocoelomates, e.g., aschelminthes.
Acoelomates: The animals in which the body cavity is absent are called acoelomates, e.g., platyhelminthes.
Segmentation
In some animals, the body is externally and internally divided into segments with a serial repetition of at least some organs. For example, in earthworm, the body shows this pattern called metameric segmentation and the phenomenon is known as metamerism.
Notochord
Notochord is a mesodermally derived rod-like structure formed on the dorsal side during embryonic development in some animals. Animals with notochord are called chordates and those animals which do not form this structure are called non-chordates, e.g., porifera to echinoderms.

CLASSIFICATION OF ANIMALS

Phylum – Porifera
Members of this phylum are commonly known as sponges. They are generally marine and mostly asymmetrical animals. These are primitive multicellular animals and have cellular level of organisation.
Water Transport System in Sponges: Sponges have a water transport or canal system. Water enters through minute pores (ostia) in the body wall into a central cavity, spongocoel, from where it goes out through the osculum. This pathway of water transport is helpful in food gathering, respiratory exchange and removal of waste. Choanocytes or collar cells line the spongocoel and the canals. Digestion is intracellular. The body is supported by a skeleton made up of spicules or sponging fibres.
Reproduction: Sponges are hermaphrodite animals. Sexes are not separate, i.e., eggs and sperms are produced by the same individual. Sponges reproduce asexually by fragmentation and sexually by formation of gametes. Fertilisation is internal and development is indirect having a larval stage which is morphologically distinct from the adult.
Phylum – Coelenterata (Cnidaria)
They are aquatic, mostly marine, sessile or free-swimming, radially symmetrical animals. The name cnidaria is derived from the nidoblasts or cnidocytes (which contain the stinging capsules or nematocytes) present on the tentacles and the body. Cnidoblasts are used for anchorage, defense and for the capture of prey.
Cnidarians exhibit tissue level of organisation and are diploblastic. They have a central gastro-vascular cavity with a single opening, hypostome. Digestion is extracellular and intracellular. Some of the cnidarians, e.g., corals have a skeleton composed of calcium carbonate.
coelenterata   :  coelenterata
Cnidarians exhibit two basic body forms called polyp and medusa. Polyp is a sessile and cylindrical form like Hydra, Adamsia, etc. whereas, medussa is umbrella-shaped and free-swimming like Aurelia or jelly fish. Those cnidarians which exist in both forms exhibit alternation of generation (Metagenesis), i.e., polyps produce medusae asexually and medusae form the polyps sexually (e.g., Obelia). Examples: Physalia (Portuguese man-of-war), Adamsia (Sea anemone), Pennatula (Sea-pen), Gorgonia (Sea-fan) and Meandrina (Brain coral).
Phylum – Ctenophora
Ctenophores, commonly known as sea walnuts or comb jellies are exclusively marine, radially symmetrical, diploblastic organisms with tissue level of organisation. The body bears eight external rows of ciliated comb plates, which help in locomotion. Digestion is both extracellular and intracellular. Bioluminescence (the property of a living organism to emit light) is well-marked in ctenophores. Sexes are not separate. Reproduction takes place only by sexual means. Fertilisation is external with indirect development. Examples: Pleurobrachia and Ctenoplana.
ctenophora
Phylum – Platyhelminthes
They have dorso-ventrally flattened body, hence are called flatworms. These are mostly endoparasites found in animals including human beings. Flatworms are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic and acoelomate animals with organ level of organisation. Hooks and suckers are present in the parasitic forms. Some of them absorb nutrients from the host directly through their body surface. Specialised cells called flame cells help in osmoregulation and excretion. Sexes are not separate. Fertilisation is internal and development is through many larval stages. Some members like Planaria possess high regeneration capacity. Examples: Taenia (Tapeworm), Fasciola (Liver fluke).
Phylum – Aschelminthes
The body of the aschelminthes is circular in cross-section, hence, the name roundworms. They may be freeliving, aquatic and terrestrial or parasitic in plants and animals. Roundworms have organ-system level of body organisation. They are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic and pseudocoelomate animals.
Digestive System: Alimentary canal is complete with a well developed muscular pharynx. An excretory tube removes body wastes from the body cavity through the excretory pore. Sexes are separate (dioecious), i.e., males and females are distinct.
Reproduction: Often females are longer than males. Fertilisation is internal and development may be direct (the young ones resemble the adult) or indirect.
Examples: Ascaris (Round Worm), Wuchereria (Filaria worm), Ancylostoma (Hookworm).
Phylum – Annelida
They may be aquatic (marine and fresh water) or terrestrial; free-living, and sometimes parasitic. They exhibit organ-system level of body organisation and bilateral symmetry. They are triploblastic, metamerically segmented and coelomate animals. Their body surface is distinctly marked out into segments or metameres (Latin, annulus : little ring) and, hence, the phylum name Annelida.
They possess longitudinal and circular muscles which help in locomotion. Aquatic annelids like Nereis possess lateral appendages, parapodia, which help in swimming. A closed circulatory system is present. Nephridia (sing. nephridium) help in osmoregulation and excretion. Neural system consists of paired ganglia (sing. ganglion) connected by lateral nerves to a double ventral nerve cord. Nereis, an aquatic form, is dioecious, but earthworms and leeches are monoecious. Reproduction is sexual.
Examples: Nereis, Pheretima (Earthworm) and Hirudinaria (Blood sucking leech). Male Female
Phylum – Arthropoda
This is the largest phylum of Animalia which includes insects. Over two-thirds of all named species on earth are arthropods. They have organ-system level of organisation. They are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic, segmented and coelomate animals.
Structure: The body of arthropods is covered by chitinous exoskeleton. The body consists of head, thorax and abdomen. They have jointed appendages (arthros-joint, poda-appendages). Respiratory organs are gills, book gills, book lungs or tracheal system. Circulatory system is of open type. Sensory organs like antennae, eyes (compound and simple), statocysts or balance organs are present.
Excretion takes place through malpighian tubules. They are mostly dioecious. Fertilisation is usually internal. They are mostly oviparous. Development may be direct or indirect.
Examples: Economically important insects – Apis (Honey bee), Bombyx (Silkworm), Laccifer (Lac insect) Vectors – Anopheles, Culex and Aedes (Mosquitoes) Gregarious pest – Locusta (Locust) Living fossil – Limulus (King crab).
Phylum – Mollusca
This is the second largest animal phylum. Molluscs are terrestrial or aquatic (marine or fresh water) having an organ-system level of organisation. They are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic and coelomate animals.
Structure: Body is covered by a calcareous shell and is unsegmented with a distinct head, muscular foot and visceral hump. A soft and spongy layer of skin forms a mantle over the visceral hump. The space between the hump and the mantle is called the mantle cavity in which feather like gills are present. They have respiratory and excretory functions. The anterior head region has sensory tentacles. The mouth contains a file-like rasping organ for feeding, called radula. They are usually dioecious and oviparous with indirect development.
Examples: Pila (Apple snail), Pinctada (Pearl oyster), Sepia (Cuttlefish), Loligo (Squid), Octopus (Devil fish), Aplysia (Seahare), Dentalium (Tusk shell) and Chaetopleura (Chiton).
Phylum – Echinodermata
These animals have an endoskeleton of calcareous ossicles and, hence, the name Echinodermata (Spiny bodied). All are marine with organ-system level of organisation. The adult echinoderms are radially symmetrical but larvae are bilaterally symmetrical. They are triploblastic and coelomate animals. Digestive system is complete with mouth on the lower (ventral) side and anus on the upper (dorsal) side.
The most distinctive feature of echinoderms is the presence of water vascular system which helps in locomotion, capture and transport of food and respiration. An excretory system is absent. Sexes are separate. Reproduction is sexual. Fertilisation is usually external. Development is indirect with free-swimming larva.
Examples: Asterias (Star fish), Echinus (Sea urchin), Antedon (Sea lily), Cucumaria (Sea cucumber) and Ophiura (Brittle star).
Phylum – Hemichordata
Hemichordata was earlier considered as a sub-phylum under phylum Chordata. But now it is placed as a separate phylum under non-chordata. This phylum consists of a small group of worm-like marine animals with organ-system level of organisation. They are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic and coelomate animals. The body is cylindrical and is composed of an anterior proboscis, a collar and a long trunk.
Circulatory system is of open type. Respiration takes place through gills. Excretory organ is proboscis gland. Sexes are separate. Fertilisation is external. Development is indirect.
Examples: Balanoglossus and Saccoglossus.
Phylum – Chordata
Animals belonging to phylum Chordata are fundamentally characterised by the presence of a notochord, a dorsal hollow nerve cord and paired pharyngeal gill slits. These are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic, coelomate with organ-system level of organisation. They possess a post anal tail and a closed circulatory system.
chordata basic body design
Phylum Chordata is divided into three subphyla:
1. Urochordata or Tunicata,
2. Cephalochordata and
3. Vertebrata.
Subphyla Urochordata and Cephalochordata are often referred to as protochordates and are exclusively marine. In Urochordata, notochord is present only in larval tail, while in Cephalochordata, it extends from head to tail region and is persistent throughout their life.
Examples: Urochordata – Ascidia, Salpa, Doliolum; Cephalochordata – Branchiostoma (Amphioxus or Lancelet).
The members of subphylum Vertebrata possess notochord during the embryonic period. The notochord is replaced by a cartilaginous or bony vertebral column in the adult. Thus all vertebrates are chordates but all chordates are not vertebrates. Besides the basic chordate characters, vertebrates have a ventral muscular heart with two, three or four chambers, kidneys for excretion and osmoregulation and paired appendages which may be fins or limbs.
Comparison of Chordates and Non-chordates
comparison of chordates and non-chordates

classification of vertebrata
Class – Cyclostomata
All living members of the class Cyclostomata are ectoparasites on some fishes. They have an elongated body bearing 6-15 pairs of gill slits for respiration. Cyclostomes have a sucking and circular mouth without jaws. Their body is devoid of scales and paired fins.
Cranium and vertebral column are cartilaginous. Circulation is of closed type. Cyclostomes are marine but migrate for spawning to fresh water. After spawning, within a few days, they die. Their larvae, after metamorphosis, return to the ocean. Examples: Petromyzon (Lamprey) and Myxine (Hagfish).
Class – Chondrichthyes
They are marine animals with streamlined body and have cartilaginous endoskeleton. Mouth is located ventrally. Notochord is persistent throughout life. Gill slits are separate and without operculum (gill cover). The skin is tough, containing minute placoid scales. Teeth are modified placoid scales which are backwardly directed. Their jaws are very powerful. These animals are predaceous. Due to the absence of air bladder, they have to swim constantly to avoid sinking.
Heart is two-chambered (one auricle and one ventricle). Some of them have electric organs (e.g., Torpedo) and some possess poison sting (e.g., Trygon). They are cold-blooded (poikilothermous) animals, i.e., they lack the capacity to regulate their body temperature. Sexes are separate. In males pelvic fins bear claspers. They have internal fertilisation and many of them are viviparous.
Examples: Scoliodon (Dog fish), Pristis (Saw fish), Carcharodon (Great white shark), Trygon (Sting ray).
Class – Osteichthyes
It includes both marine and fresh water fishes with bony endoskeleton. Their body is streamlined. Mouth is mostly terminal. They have four pairs of gills which are covered by an operculum on each side. Skin is covered with cycloid/ctenoid scales. Air bladder is present which regulates buoyancy.
Heart is two-chambered (one auricle and one ventricle). They are cold-blooded animals. Sexes are separate. Fertilisation is usually external. They are mostly oviparous and development is direct.
Examples: Marine – Exocoetus (Flying fish), Hippocampus (Sea horse); Freshwater – Labeo (Rohu), Catla (Katla), Clarias (Magur); Aquarium – Betta (Fighting fish), Pterophyllum (Angel fish).
Class – Amphibia
As the name indicates (Gr., Amphi : dual, bios, life), amphibians can live in aquatic as well as terrestrial habitats. Most of them have two pairs of limbs. Body is divisible into head and trunk. Tail may be present in some. The amphibian skin is moist (without scales). The eyes have eyelids. A tympanum represents the ear. Alimentary canal, urinary and reproductive tracts open into a common chamber called cloaca which opens to the exterior. Respiration is by gills, lungs and through skin.
The heart is threechambered (two auricles and one ventricle). These are cold-blooded animals. Sexes are separate. Fertilisation is external. They are oviparous and development is direct or indirect.
Examples: Bufo (Toad), Rana (Frog), Hyla (Tree frog), Salamandra (Salamander), Ichthyophis (Limbless amphibia).
Class – Reptilia
The class name refers to their creeping or crawling mode of locomotion (Latin, repere or reptum, to creep or crawl). They are mostly terrestrial animals and their body is covered by dry and cornified skin, epidermal scales or scutes. They do not have external ear openings. Tympanum represents ear. Limbs, when present, are two pairs.
Heart is usually three-chambered, but four-chambered in crocodiles. Reptiles are poikilotherms (A poikilotherm is an animal whose internal temperature varies along with that of the ambient environmental temperature.). Snakes and lizards shed their scales as skin cast. Sexes are separate. Fertilisation is internal. They are oviparous and development is direct.
Examples: Chelone (Turtle), Testudo (Tortoise), Chameleon (Tree lizard), Calotes (Garden lizard), Crocodilus (Crocodile), Alligator (Alligator). Hemidactylus (Wall lizard), Poisonous snakes – Naja (Cobra), Bangarus (Krait), Vipera (Viper).
Class – Aves
The characteristic features of Aves (birds) are the presence of feathers and most of them can fly except flightless birds (e.g., Ostrich). They possess beak. The forelimbs are modified into wings. The hind limbs generally have scales and are modified for walking, swimming or clasping the tree branches. Skin is dry without glands except the oil gland at the base of the tail.
Endoskeleton is fully ossified (bony) and the long bones are hollow with air cavities (pneumatic). The digestive tract of birds has additional chambers, the crop and gizard.
Endoskeleton is fully ossified (bony) and the long bones are hollow with air cavities (pneumatic). The digestive tract of birds has additional chambers, the crop and gizard.
Heart is completely fourchambered. They are warm-blooded (homoiothermous) animals, i.e., they are able to maintain a constant body temperature. Respiration is by lungs. Air sacs connected to lungs supplement respiration. Sexes are separate. Fertilisation is internal. They are oviparous and development is direct.
Examples: Corvus (Crow), Columba (Pigeon), Psittacula (Parrot), Struthio (Ostrich), Pavo (Peacock), Aptenodytes (Penguin), Neophron (Vulture).
Class – Mammalia
The most unique mammalian characteristic is the presence of milk producing glands (mammary glands) by which the young ones are nourished. They have two pairs of limbs, adapted for walking, running, climbing, burrowing, swimming or flying. The skin of mammals is unique in possessing hair. External ears or pinnae are present. Different types of teeth are present in the jaw.
Heart is four-chambered. They are homoiothermous. Respiration is by lungs. Sexes are separate and fertilisation is internal. They are viviparous with few exceptions and development is direct.
Examples: Oviparous-Ornithorhynchus (Platypus);
Viviparous - Macropus (Kangaroo), Pteropus (Flying fox), Camelus (Camel), Macaca(Monkey), Rattus (Rat), Canis (Dog), Felis (Cat), Elephas (Elephant), Equus (Horse), Delphinus (Common dolphin), Balaenoptera (Blue whale), Panthera tigris (Tiger), Panthera leo (Lion).
Distinct Characters of 4 classes of the Superclass Tetrapoda:
1. Amphibia: Capable of living on both land and water. Respiration through lungs as well as through skin and through gills. Cold blooded.
2. Reptilia: Creeping locomotion. Hard skin with scale like structure. Temperature of body varies as per the surrounding environment.
3. Aves: Bones are pneumatic or hollow to reduce weight. Additionally fore limbs are modified into wings to assist in flying. Warm blooded.
4. Mammal: Female feeds baby by producing milk through mammary glands. Hair present on body. External ears present. Warm Blooded














PLANT KINGDOM

At present  phylogenetic classification systems based on evolutionary relationships between the various organisms are acceptable. This assumes that organisms belonging to the same taxa have a common ancestor. We now use information from many other sources too to help resolve difficulties in classification. These become more important when there is no supporting fossil evidence.
Numerical Taxonomy is based on all observable characteristics. Number and codes are assigned to all the characters and the data are then processed. In this way each character is given equal importance and at the same time hundreds of characters can be considered.
Cytotaxonomy that is based on cytological information like chromosome number, structure, behaviour and chemotaxonomy that uses the chemical constituents of the plant to resolve confusions, are also used by taxonomists these days.

ALGAE

Habit & Habitat: Algae are chlorophyll-bearing, simple, thalloid, autotrophic and largely aquatic (both fresh water and marine) organisms. They occur in a variety of other habitats: moist stones, soils and wood. Some of them also occur in association with fungi (lichen) and animals (e.g., on sloth bear).
Size: The size ranges from the microscopic unicellular forms like Chlamydomonas, to colonial forms like Volvox and to the filamentous forms like Ulothrix and Spirogyra. A few of the marine forms, such as kelps, form massive plant bodies.
Reproduction: The algae reproduce by vegetative, asexual and sexual methods.
Vegetative Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction is by fragmentation. Each fragment develops into a thallus.
Asexual Reproduction: Asexual reproduction is by the production of different types of spores, the most common being the zoospores. They are flagellated (motile) and on germination gives rise to new plants.
Sexual reproduction: Sexual reproduction takes place through fusion of two gametes. The fusion of gametes can be of following types in algae:
Isogamous Fusion: These gametes can be flagellated and similar in size (as in Chlamydomonas) or non-flagellated (non-motile) but similar in size (as in Spirogyra). Such reproduction is called isogamous.
Anisogamous Fusion: Fusion of two gametes dissimilar in size, as in some species of Chlamydomonas is termed as anisogamous.
Oogamous Fusion: Fusion between one large, non-motile (static) female gamete and a smaller, motile male gamete is termed oogamous, e.g., Volvox, Fucus.
Economic Importance of Algae: Algae are useful to man in a variety of ways. At least a half of the total carbon dioxide fixation on earth is carried out by algae through photosynthesis. Being photosynthetic they increase the level of dissolved oxygen in their immediate environment. They are of paramount importance as primary producers of energy-rich compounds which form the basis of the food cycles of all aquatic animals. Many species of Porphyra, Laminaria and Sargassum are among the 70 species of marine algae used as food. Certain marine brown and red algae produce large amounts of hydrocolloids (water holding substances), e.g., algin (brown algae) and carrageen (red algae) are used commercially. Agar, one of the commercial products obtained from Gelidium and Gracilaria are used to grow microbes and in preparations of ice-creams and jellies. Chlorella and Spirullina are unicellular algae, rich in proteins and are used as food supplements even by space travellers.
The algae are divided into three main classes:
Chlorophyceae,
Phaeophyceae and
Rhodophyceae.

Chlorophyceae

Characteristics: The members of chlorophyceae are commonly called green algae. The plant body may be unicellular, colonial or filamentous. They are usually grass green due to the dominance of pigments chlorophyll a and b. The pigments are localised in definite chloroplasts. The chloroplasts may be discoid, plate-like, reticulate, cup-shaped, spiral or ribbon-shaped in different species. Most of the members have one or more storage bodies called pyrenoids located in the chloroplasts. Pyrenoids contain protein besides starch. Some algae may store food in the form of oil droplets. Green algae usually have a rigid cell wall made of an inner layer of cellulose and an outer layer of pectose.
Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction usually takes place by fragmentation or by formation of different types of spores. Asexual reproduction is by flagellated zoospores produced in zoosporangia. The sexual reproduction shows considerable variation in the type and formation of sex cells and it may be isogamous, anisogamous or oogamous.
Common Examples: Chlamydomonas, Volvox, Ulothrix, Spirogyra and Chara
volvox
chlamydomonas
chara

Phaeophyceae

Characteristics: The members of phaeophyceae or brown algae are found primarily in marine habitats. They show great variation in size and form. They range from simple branched, filamentous forms (Ectocarpus) to profusely branched forms as represented by kelps, which may reach a height of 100 metres. They possess chlorophyll a, c, carotenoids and xanthophylls. They vary in colour from olive green to various shades of brown depending upon the amount of the xanthophyll pigment, fucoxanthin present in them. Food is stored as complex carbohydrates, which may be in the form of laminarin or mannitol. The vegetative cells have a cellulosic wall usually covered on the outside by a gelatinous coating of algin. The protoplast contains, in addition to plastids, a centrally located vacuole and nucleus. The plant body is usually attached to the substratum by a holdfast, and has a stalk, the stipe and leaf like photosynthetic organ – the frond. Vegetative reproduction takes place by fragmentation.
Reproduction: Asexual reproduction in most brown algae is by biflagellate zoospores that are pear-shaped and have two unequal laterally attached flagella. Sexual reproduction may be isogamous, anisogamous or oogamous. Union of gametes may take place in water or within the oogonium (oogamous species). The gametes are pyriform (pear-shaped) and bear two laterally attached flagella.
Common Examples: Ectocarpus, Dictyota, Laminaria, Sargassum and Fucus
fucus
laminaria
Rhodophyceae
Characteristics: Rhodophyta are commonly called red algae because of the predominance of the red pigment, r-phycoerythrin in their body. Majority of the red algae are marine with greater concentrations found in the warmer areas. They occur in both well-lighted regions close to the surface of water and also at great depths in oceans where relatively little light penetrates. The red thalli of most of the red algae are multicellular. Some of them have complex body organisation. The food is stored as floridean starch which is very similar to amylopectin and glycogen in structure.
Reprodcution: The red algae usually reproduce vegetatively by fragmentation. They reproduce asexually by non-motile spores and sexually by non-motile gametes. Sexual reproduction is oogamous and accompanied by complex post fertilisation developments.
Common Examples: Polysiphonia, Porphyra, Gracilaria and Gelidium.


BRYOPHYTES

Habits & Habitats: Bryophytes include the various mosses and liverworts that are found commonly growing in moist shaded areas in the hills. Bryophytes are also called amphibians of the plant kingdom because these plants can live in soil but are dependent on water for sexual reproduction. They usually occur in damp, humid and shaded localities.
Characteristics: They play an important role in plant succession on bare rocks/soil. The plant body of bryophytes is more differentiated than that of algae. It is thallus-like and prostrate or erect, and attached to the substratum by unicellular or multicellular rhizoids. They lack true roots, stem or leaves. They may possess root-like, leaf-like or stem-like structures.
Reproduction: The main plant body of the bryophyte is haploid. It produces gametes, hence is called a gametophyte. The sex organs in bryophytes are multicellular. The male sex organ is called antheridium. They produce biflagellate antherozoids. The female sex organ called archegonium is flask-shaped and produces a single egg. The antherozoids are released into water where they come in contact with archegonium. An antherozoid fuses with the egg to produce the zygote. Zygotes do not undergo reduction division immediately. They produce a multicellular body called a sporophyte. The sporophyte is not free-living but attached to the photosynthetic gametophyte and derives nourishment from it. Some cells of the sporophyte undergo reduction division (meiosis) to produce haploid spores. These spores germinate to produce gametophyte.
Economic Importance of Bryophytes: Bryophytes in general are of little economic importance but some mosses provide food for herbaceous mammals, birds and other animals. Species of Sphagnum, a moss, provide peat that have long been used as fuel, and because of their capacity to hold water as packing material for trans-shipment of living material. Mosses along with lichens are the first organisms to colonise rocks and hence, are of great ecological importance. They decompose rocks making the substrate suitable for the growth of higher plants. Since mosses form dense mats on the soil, they reduce the impact of falling rain and prevent soil erosion.
The bryophytes are divided into following classes:
1. liverworts and
2. mosses.

Liverworts

Characteristics: The liverworts grow usually in moist, shady habitats such as banks of streams, marshy ground, damp soil, bark of trees and deep in the woods. The plant body of a liverwort is thalloid, e.g., Marchantia. The thallus is dorsiventral and closely appressed to the substrate. The leafy members have tiny leaf-like appendages in two rows on the stem-like structures.
Reproduction: Asexual reproduction in liverworts takes place by fragmentation of thalli, or by the formation of specialised structures called gemmae (sing. gemma). Gemmae are green, multicellular, asexual buds, which develop in small receptacles called gemma cups located on the thalli. The gemmae become detached from the parent body and germinate to form new individuals. During sexual reproduction, male and female sex organs are produced either on the same or on different thalli. The sporophyte is differentiated into a foot, seta and capsule. After meiosis, spores are produced within the capsule. These spores germinate to form free-living gametophytes.

Mosses

Characteristics: The predominant stage of the life cycle of a moss is the gametophyte which consists of two stages. The first stage is the protonema stage, which develops directly from a spore. It is a creeping, green, branched and frequently filamentous stage. The second stage is the leafy stage, which develops from the secondary protonema as a lateral bud. They consist of upright, slender axes bearing spirally arranged leaves. They are attached to the soil through multicellular and branched rhizoids. This stage bears the sex organs.
Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction in mosses is by fragmentation and budding in the secondary protonema. In sexual reproduction, the sex organs antheridia and archegonia are produced at the apex of the leafy shoots. After fertilisation, the zygote develops into a sporophyte, consisting of a foot, seta and capsule. The sporophyte in mosses is more elaborate than that in liverworts. The capsule contains spores. Spores are formed after meiosis. The mosses have an elaborate mechanism of spore dispersal.
Common Examples: Funaria, Polytrichum and Sphagnum
life cycle of bryophytes






PTERIDOPHYTES

Characteristics: The pteridophytes are found in cool, damp, shady places though some may flourish well in sandy-soil conditions. In pteridophytes, the main plant body is a sporophyte which is differentiated into true root, stem and leaves. These organs possess well-differentiated vascular tissues. The leaves in pteridophyta are small (microphylls) as in Selaginella or large (macrophylls) as in ferns. The sporophytes bear sporangia that are subtended by leaf-like appendages called sporophylls. In some cases sporophylls may form distinct compact structures called strobili or cones (Selaginella, Equisetum).
Reproduction: The sporangia produce spores by meiosis in spore mother cells. The spores germinate to give rise to inconspicuous, small but multicellular, free-living, mostly photosynthetic thalloid gametophytes called prothallus. These gametophytes require cool, damp, shady places to grow. Because of this specific restricted requirement and the need for water for fertilisation, the spread of living pteridophytes is limited and restricted to narrow geographical regions. The gametophytes bear male and female sex organs called antheridia and archegonia, respectively. Water is required for transfer of antherozoids – the male gametes released from the antheridia, to the mouth of archegonium. Fusion of male gamete with the egg present in the archegonium result in the formation of zygote. Zygote thereafter produces a multicellular well-differentiated sporophyte which is the dominant phase of the pteridophytes. In majority of the pteridophytes all the spores are of similar kinds; such plants are called homosporous. Genera like Selaginella and Salvinia which produce two kinds of spores, macro (large) and micro (small) spores, are known as heterosporous. The megaspores and microspores germinate and give rise to female and male gametophytes, respectively. The female gametophytes in these plants are retained on the parent sporophytes for variable periods. The development of the zygotes into young embryos take place within the female gametophytes. This event is a precursor to the seed habit considered an important step in evolution.
The pteridophytes are divided into four classes:
1. Psilopsida(Psilotum);
2. Lycopsida (Selaginella, Lycopodium),
3. Sphenopsida (Equisetum) and
4. Pteropsida (Dryopteris, Pteris, Adiantum).
life cycle of ferns

GYMNOSPERMS

Characteristics: The gymnosperms (gymnos : naked, sperma : seeds) are plants in which the ovules are not enclosed by any ovary wall and remain exposed, both before and after fertilisation. The seeds that develop post-fertilisation, are not covered, i.e., are naked. Gymnosperms include medium-sized trees or tall trees and shrubs. One of the gymnosperms, the giant redwood tree Sequoia is one of the tallest tree species. The roots are generally tap roots. Roots in some genera have fungal association in the form of mycorrhiza (Pinus), while in some others (Cycas) small specialized roots called coralloid roots are associated with N2- fixing cyanobacteria. The stems are unbranched (Cycas) or branched (Pinus, Cedrus). The leaves may be simple or compound. In Cycas the pinnate leaves persist for a few years. The leaves in gymnosperms are well-adapted to withstand extremes of temperature, humidity and wind. In conifers, the needle-like leaves reduce the surface area. Their thick cuticle and sunken stomata also help to reduce water loss.
Reproduction: The gymnosperms are heterosporous; they produce haploid microspores and megaspores. The two kinds of spores are produced within sporangia that are borne on sporophylls which are arranged spirally along an axis to form lax or compact strobili or cones. The strobili bearing microsporophylls and microsporangia are called microsporangiate or male strobili. The microspores develop into a male gametophytic generation which is highly reduced and is confined to only a limited number of cells. This reduced gametophyte is called a pollen grain. The development of pollen grains takes place within the microsporangia. The cones bearing megasporophylls with ovules or megasporangia are called macrosporangiate or female strobili. The male or female cones or strobili may be borne on the same tree (Pinus) or on different trees (Cycas). The megaspore mother cell is differentiated from one of the cells of the nucellus. The nucellus is protected by envelopes and the composite structure is called an ovule. The ovules are borne on megasporophylls which may be clustered to form the female cones. The megaspore mother cell divides meiotically to form four megaspores. One of the megaspores enclosed within the megasporangium (nucellus) develops into a multicellular female gametophyte that bears two or more archegonia or female sex organs. The multicellular female gametophyte is also retained within megasporangium.
Fertilization: Unlike bryophytes and pteridophytes, in gymnosperms the male and the female gametophytes do not have an independent free-living existence. They remain within the sporangia retained on the sporophytes. The pollen grain is released from the microsporangium. They are carried in air currents and come in contact with the opening of the ovules borne on megasporophylls. The pollen tube carrying the male gametes grows towards archegonia in the ovules and discharge their contents near the mouth of the archegonia. Following fertilisation, zygote develops into an embryo and the ovules into seeds. These seeds are not covered.
life cycle of gymnosperms



ANGIOSPERMS

Characters: In the angiosperms or flowering plants, the pollen grains and ovules are developed in specialized structures called flowers. In angiosperms, the seeds are enclosed by fruits. The angiosperms are an exceptionally large group of plants occurring in wide range of habitats. They range in size from tiny, almost microscopic Wolfia to tall trees of Eucalyptus (over 100 metres). They provide us with food, fodder, fuel, medicines and several other commercially important products.
Angiosperms are divided into two classes:
1. Dicotyledons and
2. Monocotyledons
The dicotyledons are characterised by having two cotyledons in their seeds while the monocolyledons have only one.

Reproduction:

Male Sex Organ: The male sex organ in a flower is the stamen. Each stamen consists of a slender filament with an anther at the tip. The anthers, following meiosis, produce pollen grains.
Female Sex Organs: The female sex organs in a flower is the pistil or the carpel. Pistil consists of an ovary enclosing one to many ovules. Within ovules are present highly reduced female gametophytes termed embryosacs. The embryo-sac formation is preceded by meiosis. Hence, each of the cells of an embryo-sac is haploid. Each embryo-sac has a three-celled egg apparatus – one egg cell and two synergids, three antipodal cells and two polar nuclei. The polar nuclei eventually fuse to produce a diploid secondary nucleus.
flower
structure of ovary
Pollination: Pollen grains, after dispersal from the anthers, are carried by wind or various other agencies to the stigma of a pistil. This is termed as pollination.
Fertilization: The pollen grains germinate on the stigma and the resulting pollen tubes grow through the tissues of stigma and style and reach the ovule. The pollen tubes enter the embryo-sac where two male gametes are discharged. One of the male gametes fuses with the egg cell to form a zygote (syngamy). The other male gamete fuses with the diploid secondary nucleus to produce the triploid primary endosperm nucleus (PEN). Because of the involvement of two fusions, this event is termed as double fertilisation, an event unique to angiosperms.
Embryo: The zygote develops into an embryo (with one or two cotyledons) and the PEN develops into endosperm which provides nourishment to the developing embryo. The synergids and antipodals degenerate after fertilisation. During these events the ovules develop into seeds and the ovaries develop into fruit.

PLANT LIFE CYCLES AND ALTERNATION OF GENERATIONS

alteration of generations
In plants, both haploid and diploid cells can divide by mitosis. This ability leads to the formation of different plant bodies - haploid and diploid. The haploid plant body produces gametes by mitosis. This plant body represents a gametophyte. Following fertilisation the zygote also divides by mitosis to produce a diploid sporophytic plant body. Haploid spores are produced by this plant body by meiosis. These in turn, divide by mitosis to form a haploid plant body once again. Thus, during the life cycle of any sexually reproducing plant, there is an alternation of generations between gamete producing haploid gametophyte and spore producing diploid sporophyte.
However, different plant groups, as well as individuals representing them, differ in the following patterns:
1. Sporophytic generation is represented only by the one-celled zygote. There are no free-living sporophytes. Meiosis in the zygote results in the formation of haploid spores. The haploid spores divide mitotically and form the gametophyte. The dominant, photosynthetic phase in such plants is the free-living gametophyte. This kind of life cycle is termed as haplontic. Many algae such as Volvox, Spirogyra and some species of Chlamydomomas represent this pattern.
2. On the other extreme, is the type wherein the diploid sporophyte is the dominant, photosynthetic, independent phase of the plant. The gametophytic phase is represented by the single to few-celled haploid gametophyte. This kind of lifecycle is termed as diplontic. All seed-bearing plants i.e. gymnosperms and angiosperms, follow this pattern.
3. Bryophytes and pteridophytes, interestingly, exhibit an intermediate condition (Haplo-diplontic); both phases are multicellular and often free-living. However, they differ in their dominant phases.