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Difference between Bryophytes and Thallophyte


Bryophytes vs Thallophyte

Thallophyte [thal-uh-phyt] is a group of plant organisms in the plant kingdom apart from Bryophyta and Pteridophyta. Another name given to them is thallobionta and Thallophyta that are non-mobile organisms of the polyphyletic group and generally known as "lower plants", "thalloid plant," or "relatively small plants".

There is a reverse of the cormophytes. These plants have an undefined body with stems and roots. These plants are included in cryptogamae due to the hidden reproduction system.

These species have both seedless plants and plants-like organisms (polyphyletic group of non - mobile organisms) having thallus bodies.

Thallophyte definition:-

  • " These are the group of plant or plant organism that lack differentiated root stem and leaves". For example, Lichens, bacteria, fungi, and algae (classified as the primary division of plant kingdom) - Thallophyta.
  • " It is considered as plant or plant like organism having non vascular system (tissues are not conducted in them)".

Thallophyta has two subdivisions:-

  1. Euthallophyta - This division consists of bacteria, algae, fungi, lichens. Algae are mostly found in marine/ aquatic environments and are chlorophyll-bearing organisms. Fungi are a kind of heterotrophic organism, and they combine with algae forming lichens. Fungi live as saprophytes in lichens. Bacteria (cyanobacteria) are called blue-green algae due to the presence of chlorophyll.
  2. Myxothallophyta - It has slime molds.
Bryophytes vs Thallophyte

Thallophyte Characteristics

  • These plant organisms have single-celled sex organs.
  • Mostly found in moist and wet places.
  • These plants are non-vascular. Therefore, no tissue formation occurs, and absence of xylem and phloem tissue.
  • Only fungi depend on other sources of food.
  • Most of the thallophytes prepare their food by the process of photosynthesis.
  • Produced food is in the form of glucose that is further stored as starch after its consumption.
  • After fertilization, no embryo formation takes place.
  • These plants are autotrophic.
  • The cell wall is composed of cellulose.
  • The amalgamation of the two gametes results in sexual reproduction.
  • Thallophyte plant life cycle is divided into diplontic, diplohaplontic or diploid.
  • Alteration of generation may or may not be present.

Let's learn the few differences between Bryophyta and Thallophyte types of plants.

Bryophyte Thallophyte
Vascular plants Non-vascular plants
These are commonly found in damp and shady areas. Most of them are terrestrial plants. These plants are found in moist and wet areas. Most are marine plants.
Well defined formation of tissue that is visible (formation of tissues takes place) There is no well-defined formation of tissue (no tissue formation takes place)
Prepare their food. Prepare their food except for fungi (it survive on another source of food)
Many chloroplasts are present in chlorophyllous cells. Only one chloroplast is present in one cell.
Presence of stomata or pores Absence of stomata or pores
These plant bodies have a stem, leave, and roots This plant body is the thallus
The thallus is filament only at the stage of protonema; otherwise, it's not. These plants have parenchymatous cells. In these types of plants, thallus consists of branched, well-formed filaments.
Examples of bryophytes:
Mosses, hornworts and liverworts
Examples of Thallophyte:
Bacteria, algae, lichens, and fungi
After fertilization, an embryo is formed. Do not form an embryo after fertilization
Bryophyte shows alteration of generation Thallophyte does not form alteration of generation
These are multicellular These are unicellular
Small and flowerless plants Seedless and flowerless organism

Similarities between Thallophyta and Bryophyta

  • Both are autotrophic and produce their food.
  • Both of them reserve the food in the form of starch after consuming the glucose as food.
  • Cell walls of these are made of cellulose.
  • They both belong to the sub-kingdom of the plant kingdom named crytogamae.
  • Cells have a hidden reproductive structure.
  • Both plants are not capable of producing fruits, flowers, and seeds.

Cell division in Thallophyta

Thallophyta plant does not possess a good structure design of body; therefore, it comes at the lower part in terms of division among the plant kingdom. Thallophytic plants are marine and aquatic; therefore, they don't have the differentiated structure of root, stem, and leaves. These plants are classified into two divisions: - ALGAE and FUNGUS.


Algae are the common aquatic and autotrophic plants on a large scale. It is in the green color due to the presence of chlorophyll that helps them make their food by photosynthesis. Algae are thalloid that have a network connection with sloths native to the lush green forest of South and Central America. Algae has sloth fur that forms a moist and damp environment for the algae to flourish, which provides safety to the sloth (protection from predators by providing a chance of camouflage). Algae also provide extra nutrition to the sloth fur (an example is a spirogyra).

The basic Characteristics of algae are as follows:-

  1. Green in color due to green pigment known as chlorophyll that is helpful in the process of photosynthesis.
  2. Act as both unicellular and multicellular
  3. Plant bodies can't be differentiated in stem, root, and leaves.
  4. These free-living organisms can also form a symbiotic relationship with another organism.

Examples of algae are Porphyra, spirogyra, ulothrix, and fucus.


Fungi are the heterotrophic thallophytes that don't produce chlorophyll. That's why they are achlorophyllous. Due to the absence of chlorophyll, fungi couldn't make their food. Else it depends on other organisms like algae. In return for food, fungi provide a protective shield to the algae that prevent it from UV rays and the outer environment. The best example of the duo (fungi and algae acting in the form of a single unit) is Lichen.

Fungi Characteristics are as follows:-

  1. They rely on another food source for their living (food may be fresh or stale).
  2. Here cell walls are made up of chitin instead of cellulose
  3. Absence of chlorophyll and photosynthesis process.
  4. Fungi are the best recycler.
  5. Fungi are non-motile.
  6. They can reproduce sexually or asexually.

Examples of fungi are truffles, yeast, moulds, and mushrooms.

Next TopicFungi

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