Chapter 10 Plant Kingdom Part 1 by Teaching Care online coaching classes

Chapter 10 Plant Kingdom Part 1 by Teaching Care online coaching classes

  • Parasexuality was first discovered in fungi
  • The members of Ascomycetes caused power mildew of crops.
  • Largest fungus is ‘Giant puffball’.

Kingdom plantae.

Kingdom plantae includes green, brown and red algae, liwerworts, mosses, ferns and seed plants with or without flowers. They have the following characters.

  • Multicellular organisms with walled and frequently vacuolate eukaryotic
  • They contain photosynthetic pigment in plastids.
  • Principal mode of nutrition is photosynthesis but number of plants have become absorptive.
  • Primarily non-motile, living anchored to a
  • Structural differentiation leading towards organs of photosynthesis, anchorage and support and in higher forms towards specialised photosynthetic, vascular and covering
  • Reproduction is primarily asexual or The reproductive organs are multicellular.
  • A multicellular embryo is formed during development from the zygote. Algae lack embryo stage. Life cycle consists of alternating haploid gametophyte and diploid sporophyte generation. This phenomenon is called alternation of
  • Classification : The plant kingdom thus comprises individuals which are structurally and functionally unlike one another. Subsequently several systems of classification of plant were proposed by

Classification of A.W. Eichler : August Wilhelm Eichler, a Viennese botanist, divided plant kingdom into two subgroups :


Sub-group I. Cryptogamae

(Seed lacking)

Sub-group II. Phanerogamae

(Seed formed)


Division 1


Division 2


Division 3


Division 1


Division 2



Class 1. Algae

Class 2. Fungi

Class 1. Hepaticae

Class 2. Musci

Class 1. Equisetineae

Class 2. Lycopodineae

Class 3. Filicineae

Class 1. Monocotyledonae

Class 2. Dicotyledonae



  • Introduction : The branch of botany dealing with the study of algae is called as phycology or algology. It is derived from the Greek word Phykos which means ‘alga’ or ‘sea weed’. They are simple, thallose, autotrophic non-vascular plants having unicelled sex organs and no embryo According to Fritsch, (1935) the



designation alga must include all holophytic organisms, as well as their numerous colourless derivatives, that fail to reach the level of differentiation characteristic of archegoniatae plants.

  • Occurrence : The algae occur in a variety of habitats which are summarised hereunder :
    • Fresh water forms : They occurs in rivers, ponds, pools, lakes and ditches. Some forms g., diatoms occur as passively floating and drifting flora. They are called as phytoplanktons. Those forms which remain attached to bottom soil are called as (epipelic). Several forms remain attached to bottom or at the bank or to submerged objects. They are described as (benthos). Many forms remain attached to rocks or stones. They are described as (epilithic or lithophytic). Some blue-green algae form water blooms on the surface of water.
    • Marine forms : Most of the members of brown algae, red algae some green and blue-green algae occur in While some occur as phytoplanktons and benthos, others occur as lithophytes. The giant forms like Macrocystis (60 meters) and Nereocystis (50 meters) are also marine.
    • Terrestrial forms : Several members of green and blue-green algae and a few others occur on damps While forms like Oscillatoria and Nostoc occur on alkaline and calcareous soil, Fritschiella grown on acidic soil. Xanthophyceae members like Vaucheria and Botrydium growing on damp shady soil or on shady walls, are often described as Sapophytes.

(iv)  Specialized habitats

  • Cryophytes : Plants growing on snow or ice are called as cryophytes. Different algal forms produce a specific colour effect while growing as cryophyte g., yellow-green by Chlamydomonas yellowstonensis, red by C. nivalis, black by Scotiella nivalis and purple-brown by Ancylonema nordenskioldii.
  • Thermophytes : Plants growing in hot water are called as thermophytes. Some blue-green algae grow in hot water springs at about 70°C g., Oscillatoria brevis.
  • Epiphytes : Several algal forms grow on other plants (algae, angiosperms) as epiphytes. g., Oedogonium, Cladophora, Vaucheria etc.
  • Endophytes : Some blue-green algae grows as endophytes inside other plants g., Anabaena growing inside the leaf of Azolla (fern), Nostoc inside the thallus of Anthoceros (hornwort) and Anabaena, Nostoc, Oscillatoria inside the coralloid roots of Cycas.
  • Epizoic : Algae growing on the bodies of animals are described as epizoic. g., Cladophora crispata grows on snail shell, Characium grows on the antennae of mosquito larvae, Cyanoderma (red alga) and Trichophilus (green alga) are grow on scales of sloth.
  • Endozoic : Algae growing inside the body of animals. g., Chlorella grow with in the tissue of Hydra. Some blue-green algae also grow in the respiratory tracts of animals. The blue-green algae which grow endozoically inside the protozoans are called as cyanallae.
  • Symbiotic forms : Some algae like Chlorella, Nostoc growing in symbiotic relationship with members of Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes (Fungi) constitute the lichen.

(viii) Parasites : The alga Cephaleuros virescens grows a parasite on the tea leaves. In addition,

Rhodochytrium, Phyllosiphon are other parasitic algal forms.

  • Thallus organization : The algae show a considerable variation in the organization of the thallus :
    • Unicellular forms : Several members of algae are unicelled. They may be motile (Chlamydomonas) or non-motile (diatoms). Forms showing movement by pseudopodia are called as rhizopodial. Some forms have a



thick wall and become sedentary for certain duration in their life history. They are called as coccoid e.g., Chlorella, Chroococcus.

  • Multicellular forms : The multicelled algae show a considerable range in their
  • Colonial : A colony consists of independent organisms. While the colony of Volvox is motile, that of Hydrodictyon is fixed. A colony having fixed number of cells and division of labour is called as coenobium g., Volvox.
  • Palmelloid : Here the vegetative cells of the alga get surrounded by a mucilagenous matrix g., Tetraspora.
  • Dendroid : Here the colony appears like a microscopic tree. There is secretion of mucilage from the polar end g., Ecballocystis.
  • Filamentous : Most of the algal forms are The filaments may be uniseriate or multiseriate, free floating or attached, unbranched (Ulothrix) or branched (Cladophora). The branches may be monomorphic (Cladophora) or dimorphic (Batrachospermum). The branching may be lateral or dichotomous, true (Ectocarpus) or false (Scytonema). The filaments may be monosiphonous (Batrachospermum) or polysiphonous (Polysiphonia). In some filamentous forms there is distinction of a prostrate system and an erect system, thus constituting the heterotrichous habit. e.g., Stigeoclonium.
  • Siphonous : An aseptate, multinucleate (coenocytic) condition of a filament or thallus constitutes the siphonous habit g., Vaucheria.
  • Parenchymatous : Parenchymatous organization of the thallus has been observed in many members of brown algae (Sargassum, Laminaria), red algae (Gracillaria, Porphyra) and a few green algae (Chara, Ulva) etc.
  • Cell organization : The algae show three types of cellular organization, prokaryotic, mesokaryotic and eukaryotic. The mesokaryotic organization is seen in Dinophyceae where a nuclear membrane and chromosomes are present but the basic proteins are absent. Here we shall describe only prokaryotic and eukaryotic organization in some
  • Prokaryotic : The blue-green algae, also called as Cyanobacteria, show prokaryotic cell structure. The cell wall may have a mucilagenous sheath. The inner wall layer is made up of mucopeptide. It is a polymer of two The cell wall is followed by a plasma membrane. Light microscope, the cell is distinguished into a central colourless centroplasm and a peripheral coloured chromoplasm. The cell lack a well organised nucleus, mitochondria, E.R., and Golgi. However, 70 s ribosomes are present. There are no plastids either but the cell does possess photosynthetic lamellae which are comparable to thylakoids. The cells have gas vacuoles and granules of several types such as a, b, polyhedral and structured granules. The a–granules are now called as polyglucoside granules whereas the structured granules are cyanophycin granules.

In some filamentous forms like Nostoc, Anabaena, certain large specialized cells also occur. They are called as heterocysts. They form polar nodules, they may be intercalary or terminal in position.

  • Eukaryotic : Most of the algal groups (except blue-green and dinoflagellates) show eukaryotic cell The cell wall is made up of cellulose. However, there may be additional layers of pectin and chitin. While silica is also present in the cell wall of diatoms whereas some red algae (Corallina) have inpregnation of CaCO3. The cells possess a well organised nucleus. The minimum chromosome number in algae is n = 2 (Porphyra linearis) and the maximum number is n = 592 (Netrium digitalis). The cells possess distinct mitochondria, plastids,



E.R., ribosomes and Golgi. In Micromonas, there is only one mitochondrion in a cell. The shape of chloroplasts is variable. It may be cup-shaped (Chlamydomonas, Volvox), spiral (Spirogyra), stellate (Zygnema), girdle- shaped (Ulothrix) reticulate (Oedogonium) but generally discoid. There may be a single thylakoid in the granum of Rhodophyceae, two in Cryptophyceae, three in Phaeophyceae and Bacillariophyceae but generally many. The cells may also possess simple or contractile vacuoles.

The motile forms and male reproductive cells also possess a photosensitive eye spot or stigma. In dinoflagellate the eye spot is distinguishable in a lens, photosensitive region and a pigmented cup.

The motile forms also possess flagella. They show the usual 9 + 2 structure. They are of two types –

acronematic (whiplash type) and pleuronematic (tinsel type).

  • Pigmentation : The grouping of algae based on pigments. Algae possess three classes of pigments namely chlorophylls, carotenoids and
    • Chlorophylls : A chlorophyll molecule consists of a head and a The head is made up of porphyrin, a tetrapyrrole closed ring compound with a central Mg atom; the tail is made up of phytol. Some five types of chlorophylls occur in algae namely chl. a, b, c, d and e. The chlorophyll a occurs in the all algal groups, b in Chlorophyceae, c in Phaeophyceae and Bacillariophyceae, d in Rhodophyceae and e in Xanthophyceae.
    • Carotenoids : These pigments are isoprene (C5H8) They are of two types namely carotenes

and xanthophylls. Some six types of carotenes have been located in algae which have been designated as a, b, g,

Î carotenes, lycopene and flavicine. Of these, b–carotene is found in all the algal group, a–carotene in Chlorophyceae and Rhodophyceae, g–carotene and lycopene in Chlorophyceae, Ζcarotene in Cryptophyceae and Bacillariophyceae and flavicine in Cyanophyceae. Some 20 xanthophylls have been identified from different algal groups such as lutein, fucoxanthin, violaxanthin, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, myxoxanthin etc. Of these, lutein occurs in Chlorophyceae, Phaeophyceae, Rhodophyceae and Cyanophyceae, fucoxanthin in Phaeophyceae, Rhodophyceae and Bacillariophyceae. Myxoxanthin occurs in Cyanophyceae and astaxanthin in Chlorophyceae.

  • Biliproteins or Phycobilins : This comprise a bile pigment conjugated to a protein They are of three types namely phycocyanin, phycoerythrin and allophycocyanin. While c–phycocyanin and c– phycoerythrin occurs in Cyanophyceae, r–phycoerythrin and r–phycocyanin are found in Rhodophyceae. The allophycocyanin is found in both the groups.
  • Reserve food : The food is reserved in different forms in various algal groups, some of which are summarised here under :
  • Chlorophyceae : Starch and
  • Xanthophyceae : Chrysolaminarin (carbohydrate) and Oils.
  • Bacillariophyceae : Chrysolaminarin and
  • Phaeophyceae : Laminarin (carbohydrate), Mannitol (alcohol) and
  • Rhodophyceae : Floridean Starch and Galactan –SO4
  • Cyanophyceae : Cyanophycean Starch (glycogen) and Cyanophycin (protein).



  • Reproduction : The algae reproduce vegetatively, asexually and sexually. Various method involved in reproduction are discussed in the following
    • Vegetative reproduction : It occurs by following
  • Fragmentation : It occurs due to breakage of filament or thallus into fragments, each of which behaves as an independent organism g., Ulothrix, Spirogyra etc.
  • Fission : The unicelled forms like diatoms, desmids multiply by fission e., simple cell division.
  • Budding : A bud arises as a papilla on the parent It enlarges and finally separates e.g., Protosiphon.
  • Propagules or Gemmae : They arise as modified branches. They are rich in food and germinate into new plant on detachment g., Sphacelaria.
  • Hormogonia : In certain blue-green algae g., Oscillatoria, Nostoc, the filament breaks up into hormogonia due to the formation of separation disc (necridia) or at the junction of intercalary heterocysts.
  • Tubers : In certain forms like Chara, tubers are formed on the lower nodes as also on the They germinate into new plants.
  • Akinetes : Due to deposition of food material followed by thickening of the parent wall, a cell is transformed into an akinete. They may be formed in a chain. On the arrival of favourable conditions, they germinate to forms a new plant g., Cladophora, Ulothrix, Nostoc etc.
    • Asexual reproduction : It occurs by the formation of various types of spores in sporangia. Except the zoospores, all other types of spores are non-motile.
  • Zoospores : These are thin walled motile They are anteriorly biflagellate and the two flagella are similar in Cladophora. In Vaucheria and Ectocarpus they are laterally biflagellate and the two flagella are dissimilar. Multiflagellate zoospores are formed in Oedogonium and Vaucheria. In Vaucheria the flagella are present all over the surface in pairs and hence it is called as synzoospore.
  • Aplanospores : They are thin walled and non-motile spores commonly formed in Chlamydomonas, Ulothrix
  • Autospores : They are also thin walled, non-motile spores which resemble the parent cell g., Chlorella.
  • Hypnospores : These are thic walled non-motile spores formed to tide over unfavourable They germinate on the arrival of favourable conditions e.g., Chlamydomonas, Ulothrix.
  • Exospores : These are specialised type of aplanospores formed externally by pinching off the exposed protoplast g., Chamaesiphon.
  • Endospores : In many blue-green algae, one or more endospores are formed inside an endosporangium by fragmentation of the protoplast g., Dermocapsa, Pleurocapsa.
  • Carpospores : In red algae, carposporangia are formed at the tip of gonimoblast filaments which produce a single haploid or diploid carpospore g., Batrachospermum, Polysiphonia.
  • Tetraspores : Four non-motile tetraspores are formed inside a tetrasporangium as a result of mitosis in brown algae (g., Dictyota) or by meiosis in red algae (e.g., Polysiphonia).
  • Monospore : The juvenile stage of Batrachospermum, a red alga, multiplies by forming a single monospore formed in side a



  • Sexual reproduction : The sexual reproduction in algae is broadly of three types as under :
  • Isogamy : It involves fusion of gametes which are morphologically and physiologically They are called as isogametes e.g., Chlamydomonas eugametos. In diatoms, there is simplification of isogamous reproduction. Here two nuclei of opposite strains (+ and –) fuse and the phenomenon is called as autogamy. In Chlamydomonas sp. two vegetative cells may fuse to form a zygospore and the phenomenon is called as hologamy. As a result of fusion of two gametes, the zygospore is formed.
  • Anisogamy : It involves fusion of two gametes which are dissimilar g., Chlamydomonas, Ectocarpus, Pandorina etc. When the two gametes are morphologically dissimilar, the anisogamy is said to be morphological e.g., Chlamydomonas braunii, Ectocarpus secundus. Here the smaller gamete may be called as male and the large one as female. When the two gametes are morphologically similar but differ in their behaviour, the anisogamy is said to be physiological e.g., Spirogyra, Ectocarpus siliculosus.
  • Oogamy : In this process there is formation of unicelled sex organs. The male sex organ is called as antheridium and the female as oogonium. The antheridium forms the male gametes called antherozoids which are generally The oogonium forms a non-motile female gamete called egg. The oogamy involves fusion of antherozoids with egg. The simplest type of oogamy is seen in Chlamydomonas coccifera.

In Sargassum the sex organs are formed in special pitcher shaped depressions called conceptacles formed on receptacles. In red algae (Polysiphonia) the male gametes called spermatia are non-motile. The female sex organ called carpogonium is formed on a specialized filament. The highest degree of specialization is seen in Chara where the antheridia and oogonia appear to be surrounded by sterile cells. The structures so formed are called as globule and nucule, respectively. As a result of fertilization, the zygote is formed which secretes 1 – 2 thick walls and undergoes a period of rest. On the arrival of favourable conditions, it germinates. Usually it undergoes meiosis to forms meiospores. In some forms, it forms the diploid plant e.g., Cladophora, Ectocarpus.

  • Classification : Linnaeus (1754) differentiated a group of plant and called as ‘algae’ where he included lichens and liver worts This group was delimited to its present form by de Jussieu (1789). Endlicher (1836) proposed the term Thallophyta where he included algae along with fungi. Fritsch (1935) classified algae into the eleven classes as under :
    • Chlorophyceae (Green algae)
    • Xanthophyceae (Yellow-green algae)
    • Chrysophyceae
    • Bacillariophyceae (Diatoms)
    • Cryptophyceae
    • Dinophyceae (Dinoflagellates)
    • Chloromonadineae
    • Euglenineae (Euglenoids)
    • Phaeophyceae (Brown algae)
    • Rhodophyceae (Red algae)
    • Myxophyceae or Cyanophyceae (Blue green algae)




(9)  Salient features of some selected classes

  • Chlorophyceae
  • Plants fresh water or
  • Forms unicelled to
  • Cells showing eukaryotic orgnaization.
  • Chief pigments – Chlorophyll a, b; a, b, g– carotenes, lycopene; lutein, violaxanthin.
  • Reserve food – Starch and
  • Zoospore formation
  • Male gametes
  • Flagella
  • Sexual reproduction – Isogamous, anisogamous or oogamous.

(ii) Xanthophyceae

  • Plants generally fresh
  • Forms unicelled to
  • Cells showing eukaryotic organization.
  • Chief pigments – Chlorophyll a, e; b–carotene, violaxanthin,
  • Reserve food – Chrysolaminarin and
  • Zoospore formation
  • Male gametes
  • Flagella non-identical (unequal).
  • Sexual reproduction – Isogamous, anisogamous or

(iii) Phaeophyceae

  • Plants
  • Forms unicelled to
  • Cells showing eukaryotic organization.
  • Chief pigments – Chlorophyll a, c; b–carotene, fucoxanthin, lutein, violaxanthin,
  • Reserve food – Laminarin, mannitol and
  • Zoospore formation
  • Male gametes
  • Flagella
  • Sexual reproduction – Isogamous , anisogamous or