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Knowing the Difference Between Liverworts and Mosses NEET

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Biology is one of the crucial subjects of NEET. For passing this exam, you need to have a solid grasp of different topics. One such topic is understanding Liverworts and Mosses. In this article, let’s dive into understanding the difference between Liverworts and Mosses NEET.

What are Embryophytes and Bryophytes?

  • Embryophytes are divided into two divisions viz. (bryophytes), non-vascular plants, and vascular plants.
  • Bryophytes are also known as non-tracheophytes.
  • Non-vascular plants mean plants with simpler tissues. Non-vascular plants are non-flowering and seedless plants. Bryophytes contain three groups of nonvascular plants. They are Liverworts, Mosses, and Hornworts.
  • Bryophytes like damp habitats but they can survive in the dry region too. Bryophytes contain more than 20000 plant species.

Understanding Liverworts and Mosses

Vital Facts About liverworts

  • The word ‘’Wort’’ means plants as per old English. The thallus of liverworts is shaped similar to lobes in the liver. Hence the name ‘’Liverworts’’.
  • The main plant body in the life cycle of liverwort is Gametophyte. The Gametophyte of liverworts shows a thalloid structure, meaning that gametophyte is not differentiated into roots, stem, and leaves.
  • Liverworts usually grow in moist and shaded habitats like banks of streams, marshy grounds, damp soil, tree bark, and deep in woods. Thallus of liverworts shows dorsiventral differentiation.
  • In liverworts, tiny leaves are arranged in two rows on the stem-like structure, particularly in leafy members. In liverworts, the thallus is closely attached to the substratum with the help of root-like structures. These root-like structures are called Rhizoid.
  • In liverworts, reproduction occurs both sexually and asexually. Asexual reproduction occurs by two methods which are either Fragmentation or Gemma formation.
  • Fragmentation means when the Thallus of liverworts breaks into two or more than two small fragments, and each such fragment grows into a new individual. It is called Fragmentation.
  • Gemma means Green multi cellular asexual bud. Gemma is developed in a Gemma cup, and the Gemma cup is located on the thallus. At the time of maturity, Gemma gets separated from the parental body. If such a Gemma falls on a suitable substratum, the Gemma develops into a new individual.
  • The male sex organ in liverworts is known as the Antheridium, and the female sex organ is known as Archegonium.
  • Antheridium produces Biflagellate antherozoids, whereas Archegonium produces egg cells. Later on, by fertilisation, Biflagellate antherozoids fused with egg cells together form a deployed cell called the zygote.
  • The zygote then undergoes mitotic cell divisions and results in the formation of the embryo. Later on, the embryo develops into a Sporophyte which is the next stage in the life cycle of the Liverworts.
  • Examples of Liverworts are Riccia and Marchantia.


Vital Facts About Mosses

  • Mosses are a kind of non-vascular plant. Mosses usually grow in groups. Mosses are best known for being spread over forest grounds and woodlands.
  • Mosses help in preventing soil erosion. Mosses usually break down exposed substrata providing nutrients to more complex plants.
  • The dominant stage in the life cycle of Mosses is known as Gametophyte. Haploid Gametophyte in moss plants has two stages which are Protonema and Gametophore.
  • In most plants, Protonema is developed from Haploid spores. The Haploid spores on germination result in the formation of a Green multicellular branched filament structure known as Primary Protonema.
  • Protonema developed from bud present on Primary Protonema is known as secondary protonema. This secondary protonema produces many buds.
  • The gametophore is the second stage in the Gametophyte of the Moss plant. Gametophore is developed from a lateral bud which is present on secondary protonema.
  • Gametophore is differentiated into root-like, steam-like, and leaf-like structures. The root-like structure is named a Rhizoid. Steam-like structures are called Cauloid. Leaf-like structures are called phyllodes.
  • Reproduction in mosses occurs by vegetative method and sexual method. Vegetative reproduction occurs in two methods which are fragmentation and budding in secondary protonema.
  • Antheridium and Archegonium are the male and female reproductive organs in mosses. Both are developed at the apex of leafy shoots.
  • Examples of mosses are Funaria and Polytrichum.

The Differences between Liverworts and Mosses

Liverworts Mosses
Their Gametophytic body may be Thalloid or leafy. In Mosses, gametophytes have been divided into branched, filamentous, leafy gametophytes.
The sex organs of Liverworts are on the dorsal surface of the thallus. In mosses, sex organs are found at the apex.
Stomata are absent on the walls of the capsule. Stomata are present on the walls of the capsule.
Dehiscence in liverworts is not regular. Unlike in liverworts, dehiscence in Mosses is regular.
The protonema stage is reduced in liverworts. The Protonema stage is a very prominent stage in the case of Mosses.
Liverworts belong to the class of Hepaticopsida. Whereas Mosses belong to Bryopsida
The Plant body is Thalloid and Dorsiventral The Plant body has 2 phases which are spores and gametophores.
Rhizoids are unicellular, smooth-walled and tuberculated. Rhizoids are multicellular, Branched and oblique septate.
Example -Marchantia, Plagiochasma, Pellia, Porella, etc Example- Pogonatum, Sphagnum, etc.



Hope you now have a clear understanding of the differences between Liverworts and Mosses. Know all the facts and details of the topic for answering questions regarding this topic in NEET successfully.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.