|Bryophyta |Pteridophyta |Pinophyta
"It was to Hofmeister, working as a young man, an amateur and enthusiast, in the early morning hours of summer months, before business, at Leipzig in the years before 1851, that the vision first appeared of a common type of Life-Cycle, running through Mosses and Ferns to Gymnosperms and Flowering Plants, linking the whole series in one scheme of reproduction and life-history." [A. H. Church (1919), quoted by E. J. H. Corner (1964)]
Portrait of Wilhelm Hofmeister from cover of American Journal of Botany 83(12), illustrating the Invited Special Paper on pp. 1647-1660 by D. R. Kaplan and T. J. Cooke, "The genius of Wilhelm Hofmeister: the origin of causal-analytical research in plant development." Originally published in K. von Goebel (1905), "The Plant World."
Green Plants; "Embryophyta"
...share a common life cycle involving alternation of sporophyte and gametophyte generations, with the embryo sporophyte retained within gametophyte at least initially. Features of this life cycle can be traced back to some of the earliest land plant fossils, such as the incredibly well-preserved materials from the Rhynie chert.
|Embryophyta also share photosynthetic pigments and storage polysaccharides with the green algae. However, they differ from the algae in their more complex structure and development. A common feature of all four plant groups described below that distinguishes them from the green algae is the formation of an embryo, or immature sporophyte, that is retained within gametophyte at least initially.||Embryophyta
| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |
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© 2008 Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and 2000-2006 Botany Department, University of Toronto.