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The general characters of the bryophytes can be summarized as:

  1. The bryophytes are inhabitants of moist and shady places.
  2. The bryophytes require water for completing their life cycle. So they are regarded as the amphibians of the plant kingdom.
  3. The gametophytic plant body is the dominant phase which is haploid.
  4. The gametophyte is independent and produces gametes.
  5. The plant body is simple thalloid and is not differentiated into true root, stem and leaves.
  6. The roots are replaced by the root like structure known as the rhizoids.
  7. The plants are usually green and possess chloroplast.
  8. They are non-vascular plant so they do not possess complex vascular tissues.
  9. The sexual reproduction is oogamous which is characterized by the presence of small and motile antherozoids and large non-motile egg.
  10.  Antheridia are the male reproductive organ and archegonia are the female reproductive organ. These organs are multicellular and protected with a sterile jacket.
  11.  Antheridium, the male reproductive organ is differentiated into stalk and body. The antheridia produce the small bi flagellated antherozoids.
  12.  Archegonium, the female reproductive organ is differentiated into venter and neck. The large naked egg is produced inside the venter canal cell.
  13.  Fertilized egg forms the zygote which by repeated division forms the embryo.
  14. The zygote is the first cell of the sporophytic generation.
  15. The embryo development in the bryophyte is exoscopic.
  16. The embryo develops into sporophytic plant body which is known as the sporogonium. Sporogonium is protected by the calyptra
  17. Sporogonium give rise to the spores which are homosporous.
  18. The spores are haploid which represent the first cell of the gametophytic generation.
  19. The haploid spore germinates to give rise to the haploid gametophytic plant body.
  20.  The bryophyte shows the alternation of generation between the gametophytic phase and the sporophytic phase.
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