Bryophytes - Glossary
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-- A --
Asexual A form of reproduction neither preceded nor followed by meiosis.
Alga (pl. algae) A general name for the single-celled plant plankton, seaweed's, and their freshwater allies.
Antheridium (pl. antheridia) The organ corresponding to an anther that produces male gametes.
Antherozoid Sperm, male gamete one of the minute organs developed in an antheridium.
Archegonium (pl. archegonia) The flask-shaped female reproductive organs and contains the egg which becomes the sporophyte.
Aquatic A plant growing in water.

--B --
Bryophytes (pl. Bryophyte) A non-vascular, green plants with gametophyte generation dominant and sporophyte generation ephemeral; e.g. mosses, liverworts and hornworts.

-- C --
Carbohydrate Organic compound consisting of a chain of carbon atoms to which hydrogen and oxygen are attached in a 2:1 ratio, e.g., sugars, starch, glycogen, cellulose.
Calyptra A lid or hood. In mosses, the thin veil or hood covering the mouth of the capsule.
Capsule The enlarged top end of the sporophyte; it contains the spores, and is sometimes known as the sporangium.
Cell One of the minute vesicles, of protoplasm consisting typically of nucleus, cytoplasm, and a photosynthetic pigments, all enclosed by a cell wall.
Chromosomes One of the set of bodies in the nucleus which determine hereditarily cell structure and function.
Chloroplast The microscopic body within the cell which contains chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll The green pigment of plants that captures the energy from the sun.
Coloured Text Used to indicate that a word is linked to the glossary. Only show in version 4+ browses.
Cyanobacterium (pl. cyanobacteria) a blue-green algae from the Monera Kingdom
Cryptogam A general name for plants, and plant-like organisms, that lack flowers and are not reproduced by seeds, including ferns, mosses, fungi and algae.
Cytoplasm the contents of a cell; includes the organelles but not the nucleus.

-- D --
Diploid having two of the basic sets of chromosomes in the nucleus.

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Elater A plant structure functioning in the distribution of spores, such bands which contract and expand when moistened or dried to disperse spores.
Eukaryote cell or organism with a membrane-bound, structurally discrete nucleus and other well-developed subcellular compartments.

-- F --
Foot The part of the sporophyte that remains attached in the gametophyte.

-- G --
Gametophyte That part of the plant which bears the gametes or sexual cells.
Gamete A sex cell, either male or female, having a haploid set of chromosomes.
Germinate (n. germination) To develop a young plant from seed.

-- H --
Haploid Half the full set of genetic material, as found in the gamete.
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Meiosis The process in which a single diploid cell becomes four haploid cells in two consecutive divisions of the nucleus of an eukaryotic cell.
Motile Actively moving or capable of moving spontaneously.
Multicellular Formed of two or more cells.
Mucilage (adj. mucilaginous) A viscous, slimy material exuded by certain plants.

-- N --
Nucleus (Pl. nuclei, adj. nuclear) the cellular organelle in eukaryotes that contains the genetic material.

-- O --
Operculum A lid; the upper portion of a capsule, which on detachment permits the spores to escape.
Organelle A membrane-bound body found in the cytoplasm of the cell that performs specific cellular functions.

-- P --
Peristome The fringe surrounding the mouth of the capsule upon removing the lid.
Photosynthesis The process by which plants convert sunlight into energy.
Protonema The green, branched, algae-like threads produced from the spore of mosses and often persistent during the lifetime of the plant.
Pore An opening, very small and almost circular.

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Rhizoids Hair-like structure that function as anchorage; in Bryophytes.

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Sexual Reproduction - the fusion of gametes followed by meiosis and recombination at some point in the life cycle.
Seta The stalk holding the spore capsule.
Spore A reproductive body produced by certain fungi and other organisms, capable of growing into a new individual under proper conditions.
Sporophyte (syn. sporophore) The spore-bearing part or generation.
Substrate The surface which an organism is growing on.

-- T --
Thallus (pl. Thalli) - The usually ill-defined `body' of a simple plant.
Thalloid (syn. thallose) Resembling a thallus.

-- U --

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Vascular The conducting strand of a stem or leaf used to transfer water through the tissues of a plant.
Valve One of the pieces into which a dehiscing capsule splits.

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Zygote The diploid cell formed by the union of two gametes.
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