Definition of Plant

SMeissne at AOL.COM SMeissne at AOL.COM
Fri Oct 8 19:52:17 EST 1999

In a message dated 99-10-08 14:25:29 EDT, you write:

 On 8 Oct 1999 SMeissne at wrote:
 > Depends on whether you consider the entire life cycle of the plant or not.
 > After all sperm and egg are single celled stages of plants, yet they are no
 > less plants, arn't they?
 > But I have to agree that ASPP's statement does give the impression that 
 > Chlorella and similar photosynthetic protista might be considered to be 
 > plants.  I hope
 > that was not what they intended.
 Why not?!
 Russ Goddard

Can I refer you to the book:  The Biology of Plants, by Raven, Evert and 
Or if you prefer, The Evolutionary Biology of Plants, by Karl Niklas.

In these books you will find that there is a whole group of traits that are 
found to occur together in the plant kingdom.  Based on this these books 
present a strong arguement for a monophyletic plant kingdom.  To include 
green algae, red algae, or other photosynthetic eukaryotes in the plant 
kingdom would make it a polyphyletic kingdom.  Since a monophyletic kingdom 
is to be desired over a polyphyletic one it makes sense (at least to me and I 
believe to the authors of the above texts) to define plants in terms of their 
shared assemblage of traits.  Retention of the embryo is just ONE of these 
traits.   See the texts for the others.

Given that this is my view, I said that I hope that ASPP is not lumping 
non-plants, like the algae, in with plants.  I don't think it would be 

Scott T. Meissner

Aure Entuluva!

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