Thallophytes are a polyphyletic group of non-mobile organisms traditionally described as “thalloid plants”, “relatively simple plants” or “lower plants”. They are a defunct division of kingdom Plantae, including fungus, lichens and algae and occasionally bryophytes, bacteria and the Myxomycota.Characteristics of Thallophyta
- They are found in moist or wet places.
- They are autotrophic, i.e., manufacture their own food.
- Reserve food is generally starch.
- They have a cellulose cell wall around their cells.
- Mechanical and conducting elements are absent.
- Sex organs are simple, single-celled, there is no embryo formation after fertilization.
Classification of Thallophyta
The Thallophyta have been divided into two subdivisions:
- Myxothallophyta (myxomycetes)
- Euthallophyta (bacteria, fungi, lichens, algae)
Division of Thallophyta
The division Thallophyta is classified into two sub-divisions:
Algae are chlorophyll-bearing thalloid, autotrophic and largely autotrophic and largely aquatic (freshwater and marine water) plants. Example: Spirogyra.
Fungi are achlorophyllous (non-green) heterotrophic thallophytes. They live as saprophytes with algae to form lichens. Example: Rhizopus.