Definitions

thallophyte

thallophyte

[thal-uh-fahyt]
thallophyte, common name for members of the Thallophyta (or Thallobionta), a taxonomic group in some archaic classification systems that comprised algae, fungi, and lichens. The thallophytes were considered lower plants and were grouped together because of they consisted of one cell or a relatively undifferentiated mass of cells called a thallus, instead of having an organized plant body (stem, root, and leaf).
The thallophytes are a polyphyletic group of non-mobile organisms traditionally described as "relatively simple plants" or "lower plants" with undifferentiated bodies (thalli). They were a defunct division of Kingdom Plantae, the Thallophyta (or Thallobionta) that included fungus and algae, and lichens occasionally bacteria and the Myxomycophyta.

They are sometimes referred to as "thalloid plants", as opposed to vascular plants. Stephan Ladislaus Endlicher, a 19th-century Austrian botanist, separated the Vegetable Kingdom (equivalent of Kingdom Plantae) into the Thallophytes and the Cormophytes (vascular plants) in 1836. Thallophytes were known as the Thallogens according to John Lindley, an English botanist in the 19th century. Likewise, Cormophytes were also known as Cormogens in the Lindley system.

The term was used only in former classifications: comprising what is now considered a heterogeneous assemblage of flowerless and seedless organisms: algae; bacteria; fungi; lichens.

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