Difference Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta

Main Difference – Thallophyta Bryophyta vs Pteridophyta

Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta are the three phyla of cryptogams, which is a subkingdom of Plantae. The cryptogams are seedless plants or plant-like organisms that do not produce flowers and fruits. They reproduce through the production of spores. Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta differ by the organization of their plant body. The main difference between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta is that the plant body of Thallophyta is a thallus while the plant body of Bryophyta shows stem-like, root-like, and leaf-like structures and the plant body of Pteridophyta is differentiated into true stem, root, and leaves. Thallophyta and Bryophyta do not consist of a true vascular system while Pteridophyta consists of a true vascular system.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Thallophyta
      – Definition, Characteristics, Examples
2. What is Bryophyta
      – Definition, Characteristics, Examples
3. What is Pteridophyta
      – Definition, Characteristics, Examples
4. What are the Similarities Between Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta
      – Outline of Common Features
5. What is the Difference Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Bryophyta, Cryptogams, Euthallophyta, Myxothallophyta, Pteridophyta, Seedless Plants, Spores, Vascular System, Thallophyta

Difference Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta - Comparison Summary

What is Thallophyta

Thallophyta is phylum that includes seedless plants and plant-like organisms. This consists of algae, fungi, lichens, and bacteria. Thus, Thallophyta is a polyphyletic group of non-mobile organisms, whose plant body is described as a thallus. Most Thallophytes can be found in wet habitats. All Thallophytes are autotrophic and produce their own food. The food is stored in the form of starch. Thallophytes do not have a vascular system. They consist of single-celled sex organs.

Difference Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta

Figure 1:  Badhamia utricularis

The two subdivisions of Thallophyta are Euthallophyta and Myxothallophyta. The Euthallophyta consists of algae, fungi, lichens, and bacteria. Algae are chlorophyll-bearing organisms that mostly live in aquatic environments. Fungi are heterotrophic organisms. They live with algae forming lichens. In lichens, the fungi live as saprophytes. Cyanobacteria contain chlorophyll, and hence they are called as the blue-green algae. The myxothallophyta consist of slime molds. A slime mold is shown in figure 1. 

What is Bryophyta

Bryophyta refers to the small, flowerless plants. This consists of liverworts, mosses, and hornworts.  Bryophytes live in moist, shady environments. Their plant body is not differentiated into true stem, root, and leaves. However, they show stem-like, root-like, and leaf-like structures. The root-like structures are called rhizoids; they attach the plant body to the substrate. Bryophytes also do not have a true vascular system.

Main Difference - Thallophyta Bryophyta vs Pteridophyta

Figure 2: Marchantia

Bryophyta shows the alterations of generations with a prominent gametophyte. The sporophyte produces spores. The liverworts consist of thallose leaf-like structures. Mosses are the most widely spread bryophytes with follilose leaf-like structures. The hornworts produce horn-like sporophytes. A liverwort is shown in figure 2. 

What is Pteridophyta

Pteridophyta refers to the flowerless plants whose plant body is differentiated into true stem, root, and leaves. Pteridophyta consists of ferns, horsetails, quillworts, club mosses, and spike mosses. These plants consist of a true vascular system. Pteridophytes are a type of highly organized plants that live in dry, terrestrial habitats.

Difference Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta - 3

Figure 3: Lycopodium clavatum

Pteridophyta shows the alterations of generations with a prominent sporophyte. The main reproduction method of the Pteridophyta is the production of spores. A club moss is shown in figure 3

Similarities Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta

  • Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta belong to the sub-kingdom Crytogamae of the kingdom Plantae.
  • They do not produce seeds, fruits, and flowers.
  • Their cell walls are made up of cellulose.
  • They are autotrophic and produce their own food.
  • They reserve their food as starch.
  • They consist of hidden reproductive structures.
  • They reproduce by means of spores.

Difference Between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta

Definition

Thallophyta: Thallophyta refers to seedless and flowerless organisms consisting of algae, fungi, lichens, and bacteria.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta refers to small, flowerless plants consisting of liverworts, mosses, and hornworts.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta refers to flowerless plants consisting of ferns and their relatives.

Habitat

Thallophyta: Thallophyta lives in aquatic environments, on or within plants, on snow, and on rocks.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta mainly lives in aquatic environments.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta mainly lives in dry, terrestrial environments.

Structure

Thallophyta: Thallophyta is mostly unicellular.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta is multicellular.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta is multicellular.

Plant Body

Thallophyta: The plant body of Thallophyta is a thallus.

Bryophyta: The plant body of Bryophyta shows stem-like, root-like, and leaf-like structures.

Pteridophyta: The plant body of Pteridophyta is differentiated into stem, root, and leaves.

Vascular System

Thallophyta: Thallophyta lacks a vascular system.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta lacks a true vascular system.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta consists of a true vascular system.

Alterations of Generations

Thallophyta: Thallophyta does not show alterations of generations.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta shows alterations of generations with a prominent gametophyte.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta shows alterations of generations with a prominent sporophyte.

Sex Organs

Thallophyta: The sex organs of Thallophyta are unicellular.

Bryophyta: The sex organs of Bryophyta are multicellular.

Pteridophyta: The sex organs of Pteridophyta are multicellular.

Embryo Formation

Thallophyta: Thallophyta does not form an embryo.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta forms an embryo after fertilization.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta forms an embryo after fertilization.

Organization

Thallophyta: Thallophyta consists of plant-like organisms.

Bryophyta: Bryophyta shows the least organization in the plant kingdom.

Pteridophyta: Pteridophyta shows a higher organization than the Bryophyta.

Examples

Thallophyta: Cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, and fungi are examples of Thallophyta.

Bryophyta: Liverworts, mosses, and hornworts are examples of Bryophyta.

Pteridophyta: Ferns are the examples of Pteridophyta.

Conclusion

Thallophyta, Bryophyta, and Pteridophyta are three phyla of the sub-kingdom Crytogamae. Cryptogams are seedless plants. Therefore, they mainly reproduce through spores. Cryptogams also do not have flowers and fruits.  The main difference between Thallophyta Bryophyta and Pteridophyta is the organization of each phylum. Thallphyta consists of algae, fungi, lichens, and cyanobacteria. The plant body of Thallophyta is a thallus. Bryophyta consists of liverworts, mosses, and hornworts. The plant body of bryophytes is not differentiated into true stem, roots, and leaves. Pteridophyta consists of ferns and their relatives. The plant body of pteridophytes is differentiated into true stem, root, and leaves. Pteridophytes also consist of a true vascular system.

Reference:

1. “Thallophyte | Algae, Plant Kingdom, & Fungi | Classification & Division.” Biology, Byjus Classes, 3 Sept. 2016, Available here. Accessed 28 Aug. 2017.
2. “Introduction to the Bryophyta.” Introduction to the Bryophyta, Available here. Accessed 28 Aug. 2017.
3. “Phylum Pteridophyta: Characteristics, Classification & Life Cycle.” Study.com, Available here. Accessed 28 Aug. 2017.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Badhamia utricularis mature” By shunkamanitotanka (Marco Bertolini) –  (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “MarchantiophytaSp.NonDéterminéeFL3″ By F. Lamiot – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Running Club-Moss” Jason Hollinger (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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