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What is Protonema?

Last updated date: 24th Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
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Hint: Protonema is a creeping, green, branched, and often filamentous stage of the growth process. It is a haploid, autonomous, gametophytic stage of the moss life cycle.

Complete answer:
A protonema is a thread-like chain of cells that forms the gametophyte's earliest stage of growth in the life cycle of mosses.
When a moss grows from a spore, it begins as a germ tube that lengthens and branches into a filamentous complex called a protonema, which develops into a leafy gametophore, the adult form of a gametophyte in bryophytes.
Process of development
1. Moss spores germinate to form the protonema, an alga-like filamentous structure.
2. It represents a young gametophyte. While the protonema grows by apical cell division, under the influence of the phytohormone cytokinin, buds that develop by three-faced apical cells are induced at some stage.
3. Gametophores, roots, and leaf-like structures are formed as a result of this. Bryophytes lack true leaves (megaphyll). Formalized paraphrase Protonemata are found in all mosses and some liverworts.
It develops from spores and gives rise to new plants. Funaria, polytrichum, and sphagnum are a few examples.

Moss protonemata are made up of two types of cells: chloronemata, which develop upon germination, and caulonemata, which separate from chloronemata and form buds, which then differentiate to gametophores.