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Chapter 28 Plants and the Conquest of Land.docx

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David Fennell

Chapter 28 Plants and the Conquest of Land What are Plants? • Eukaryotic, primarily photosynthetic organisms that mostly live on land an display many adaptions to life in terrestrial habitats • Most likely evolved from aquatic algal ancestors (eg., freshwater green algae known as charophyceans) Ancestry • Monophyletic, kingdom plantae • Probably originated from a single common protist ancestor • Ancient relatives of modern-day Chara or Coleochaete (both are complex “charophycean” green algae) probably gave rise to the land plants (embryophytes) “Charophyceans” and Land Plants Share Photosynthetic Features • Plastids are green o Main photosynthetic pigment is chlorophyll a o Green accessory pigment is chlorophyll b o Orange accessory pigment is beta-carotene • Storage of polysaccharide starch in plastids “Charophyceans” and Primitive Land Plants Share Reproductive Features • Flagellate sperm • Large, non-motile eggs Adaptions Enabling the Move to Land • In charophyceans a layer of a durable polymer called sporopollenin prevents exposed zygotes from drying out • The accumulation of traits that facilitated survival on land may have opened the way to its colonization by plants 10 Plant Phyla • Liverworts • Hornworts = Bryophytes • Mosses • Lycophytes • Pteridophytes • Cycads • Ginkgos • Conifers • Gnetophytes • Angiosperms Bryophytes • Represented today by three phyla of small herbaceous (nonwoody) plants: o Liverworts, phylum Hepatophyta o Hornworts, phylum Anthocerophyta o Mosses, phylum Bryophyta • Monophyletic phyla • Share common structural, reproductive and ecological features • Models of earliest plants • Bryophytes display features absent from charophycean algae but present in plants • Likely early adaptations to life on land • C
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