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The Charophyceae are the green algae closest to plants.

Their exact rank is the matter of some debate. Some botanists recommend expanding the existing plant kingdom to include charophyceans and chlorophytes.[1]

Others classify Charophyceae as a class under division Charophyta, with Chlorophyta remaining a distinct division.[2] There are also other possibilities.[3][4]

The consensus among botanists is that charophyceans are the organisms most closely related to land plants (embryophytes).[1][5]

Many of the complex traits related to sexual reproduction, photosynthesis, and other plant characters, evolved first in charophyceans. Analysis of cpDNA (chloroplast DNA) shows that characteristics of plant chloroplasts evolved first in the charophycean genera Staurastrum and Zygnema.[1][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Campbell N.A. & Reece J.B. 2005. Biology. 7th ed, Cummings, San Francisco.
  2. Guiry M.D. & Guiry G.M. 2007. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. searched on 13 December 2007
  3. Hoek C. van den, Mann D.G. & Jahns H. M. 1995. Algae: an introduction to phycology Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-30419-9
  4. McCourt R.M; Chapman R.L; Buchheim M. & Mishler B.D. “Green plants” Accessed 13 December 2007
  5. Delwiche C.F. “Charophycean green algae”. Accessed 13 December 2007
  6. Turmel M; Otis C. & Lemieux C. 2005. The complete chloroplast DNA sequences of the Charophycean green algae Staurastrum and Zygnema reveal that the chloroplast genome underwent extensive changes during the evolution of the Zygnematales. BMC Biology 3:22