Viridophytae (green plants)

Viridophytae, or green plants, are broadly defined as organisms that carry out photosynthesis (use carbon dioxide, water, and light energy to produce carbohydrates and oxygen), contain the light absorbing pigment chlorophyll, and possess rigid cell walls made of cellulose. According to DNA sequence comparisons, green plants can be subdivided into two groups: chlorophytes, or green algae, consisting mostly of microscopic freshwater forms and large seaweeds; and streptophytes, which encompass land plants (including liverworts, mosses, ferns, and seed plants) and closely related green algae known as charophytes. Through a large collaborative effort called "Deep Green," researchers are trying to better resolve the phylogeny of green plants. By reconstructing evolutionary history, they hope to gain new insight into how multicellular aquatic plants evolved, which plants colonized land first, and where key adaptive features for life on land came from.

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