Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
one of the two subkingdoms of the plant world; it comprises bacteria, actinomycetes, myxomycetes, fungi, algae, and lichens. The body of thallophytes, the thallus, is not divided into a root, stem, and leaf; multicellular reproductive organs are absent.
Thallophytes include procaryotes, cells lacking a true nucleus (bacteria, actinomycetes, blue-green algae), and eucaryotes, cells with a true nucleus (the remaining members of the subkingdom). They are unicellular (mostly microscopic) or multicellular (up to 40 m long) and heterotrophic (most bacteria, actinomycetes, myxomycetes, fungi) or autotrophic (some bacteria, algae [including those living in lichens]). The more highly organized thallophytes have leaflike organs and a conducting system similar to the phloem of higher plants; the zygote develops in a multicellular embryo on a gametophyte (some brown algae).
Fossil remains of several thallophytes—bacteria and unicellular algae—have been found in Archean and Proterozoan deposits about 3 billion years old.
REFERENCESKursanov, L. I., and N. A. Komarnitskii. Kurs nizshikh rastenii, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1945.
Malyi praktikum po nizshim rasteniiam. Moscow, 1967.
IU. E. PETROV