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.
Others classify Charophyceae as a class under division Charophyta, with Chlorophyta remaining a distinct division. There are also other possibilities.
The consensus among botanists is that charophyceans are the organisms most closely related to land plants (embryophytes).
Many of the complex plant traits related to sexual reproduction evolved first in charophyceans.[source?] Analysis of cpDNA (chloroplast DNA) shows that characteristics of plant chloroplasts also evolved first in the charophyceans, before the Zygnematales diverged from the lineage that lead to Coleochaetales, Charales, and the land plants.
Groups generally included within the Charophyceae are:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Campbell N.A. & Reece J.B. 2005. Biology. 7th ed, Cummings, San Francisco.
- ↑ Guiry M.D. & Guiry G.M. 2007. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. AlgaeBase.org searched on 13 December 2007
- ↑ 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
- ↑ McCourt R.M; Chapman R.L; Buchheim M. & Mishler B.D. “Green plants” Archived 2017-07-11 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 13 December 2007
- ↑ Delwiche C.F. “Charophycean green algae”. Accessed 4 May 2015
- ↑ 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