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What are common characteristics between the following groups?

algae and speed plants?

fungi and algae?

and seed plants?

What are some characteristics that are unique to each group? Which of these are important adaptations that allowed plants, specifically seed plants, to successfully colonize land?

What morphological trait was lost in plants and fungi but may have been present in the lineage leading up to fungal and animal lineages?

Oct 22nd, 2017
Algae are eukaryotic organisms that have no roots, stems, or leaves but do have chlorophyll and other pigments for carrying out photosynthesis. Algae can be multicellular or unicellular.

Most algae are photoautotrophic and carry on photosynthesis. Some forms, however, are chemoheterotrophic and obtain energy from chemical reactions and nutrients from preformed organic matter. Most species are saprobes, and some are parasites.

Reproduction in algae occurs in both asexual and sexual forms. Asexual reproduction occurs through the fragmentation of colonial and filamentous algae or by spore formation (as in fungi). Spore formation takes place by mitosis. Binary fission also takes place (as in bacteria).

During sexual reproduction, algae form differentiated sex cells that fuse to produce a diploid zygote with two sets of chromosomes. The zygote develops into a sexual spore, which germinates when conditions are favorable to reproduce and reform the haploid organism having a single set of chromosomes. This pattern of reproduction is called alternation of generations.

while seed plants  have the following charactriestics

Seed Parts

All seed plants have seeds which contain an embryo, a seed coat and stored food. The seed coat protects the seed, allowing it to remain dormant until the weather is just right for germination. At that point, the leaves of the embryo absorb water and the radical or root emerges, shortly followed by the plumule or shoot. The stored food nourishes the seed, allowing it to thrive until it becomes fully established.

Vascular Systems

Seed plants all have vascular systems consisting of xylem and phloem. Food is produced in the flood and moves through tubes called the phloem, which distribute it through the plant, giving the cells energy. The xylem, on the other hand, bring water up from the roots, keeping the plant hydrated and enabling photosynthesis.


All seed plants have some means of dispersal to scatter their seeds at a distance from the mother plants, ensuring that offspring will grow and spread. Many seed plants use fruit for disposal. Birds, mammals and other animals eat the fruit, swallowing the seeds. Later, the mammals excrete the seeds, depositing them in a new location where plants can spring up.

Characteristics of Fungi
  • Most fungi grow as tubular filaments called hyphae. An interwoven mass of hyphae is called a mycelium.
  • The walls of hyphae are often strengthened with chitin, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine. ...
  • Fungi disperse themselves by releasing spores, usually windblown. ...
  • Fungi are heterotrophic.

  • adaptation  that makes each colonies land
1) Desiccation- Cuticle & stomata to protect against dehydration. Survival on land requires an ability to resist and repair damage from desiccation . The first bryophytes evolved specific repair mechanisms using genes called rehydrins. Bryophytes evolved enclosed structures to protect gametes and embryos from desiccation called gametangia. This movement towards adapting to land's dry conditions was likely assisted by the first symbioses with fungal partners.
2) Structural support (cellulose & lignin) also roots as both anchors and a means of extracting water (& soluble nutrients) from soil.
3) Vascular nutrient movement rather than passive diffusion
4) Reproduction – pollen & seeds - haploid life stage become reduced then miniature. Central cell, double fertilization so the zygote has endosperm- the seed. Protected seeds in ovaries and floral symbioses with pollination partners. 

What morphological trait was lost in plants and fungi but may have been present in the lineage leading up to fungal and animal lineages?

the frequency of compensated trait loss is currently underestimated because it can go unnoticed as
long as ecological interactions are maintained; (2) by analysing known cases of trait loss, specific factors
promoting compensated trait loss can be identified and (3) genomic sequencing is a key way forwards in
detecting compensated trait loss.

Apr 10th, 2015

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