Objectives

 1. To understand the diversity, life cycle patterns and major evolutionary trends of algae, fungi, lichens and bryophytes. 

2. To develop the skill for identifying cryptogams.

Unit I General characters of algae including similarities and diversities; Classification of algae by Fritsch (1954); Thallus organization in algae; Life-cycle patterns and alternation of generations. Detailed study on occurrence, habitat, structure, reproduction and life history of Cyanophyceae and Chlorophyceae 

Unit II Detailed study on occurrence, habitat, structure, reproduction and life-history of Xanthophyceae, Bacillariophyceae, Phaeophyta, Rhodophyceae, Fossil algae; Economic importance - Role of algae in soil fertility; Algal blooms; symbiotic associations; nitrogen fixation; Pollution indicators; SCP. 

Unit III General characters of fungi; Classification of fungi proposed by C.J Alexopoulos and C.W Mims (1979); Homothallism and Heterothallism in fungi; Parasexuality in fungi; An overview and life history of Zygomycetes, Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes, Deuteromycetes. Economic importance of fungi. 

Unit IV General account of Lichens; Classification by Miller (1984); Structure, nutrition and reproduction of the three major groups – Crustose, Foliose and Fruticose; Economic importance of Lichens.

 Unit V Classification, Distribution, Origin (including fossil evidence), Primitive and advanced features of Bryophytes; Evolution of gametophytes and sporophytes; Ecological adaptations; Economic importance. A comparative study of the morphological and anatomical features of Polytrichales, Bryales, Marchantiales, Jungermanniales and Anthocerotales.