File:Taiwan 2009 East Coast ShihTiPing Giant Stone Steps Algae FRD 6581.jpg
An assortment of thallophyte Viridiplantae in a rock pool, Taiwan
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Archaeplastida
(unranked): Viridiplantae
Cavalier-Smith 1981[1]
  • Chloroplastida Adl et al., 2005
  • Chlorobionta Jeffrey 1982, emend. Bremer 1985, emend. Lewis and McCourt 2004
  • Chlorobiota Kendrick and Crane 1997

Viridiplantae (literally "green plants")[1] are a clade of eukaryotic organisms made up of the green algae, which are primarily aquatic, and the land plants (embryophytes), which evolved within them.[2][3][4] They have cells with cellulose in their cell walls, and primary chloroplasts derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria that contain chlorophylls a and b and lack phycobilins. More than 350,000 species of Viridiplantae exist.[5]

In some classification systems, the group has been treated as a kingdom,[6] under various names, e.g. Viridiplantae, Chlorobionta, or simply Plantae, the latter expanding the traditional plant kingdom to include the green algae. Adl et al., who produced a classification for all eukaryotes in 2005, introduced the name Chloroplastida for this group, reflecting the group having primary chloroplasts with green chlorophyll. They rejected the name Viridiplantae on the grounds that some of the species are not plants, as understood traditionally.[7] The Viridiplantae are made up of two clades: Chlorophyta and Streptophyta.[8] Together with Rhodophyta and glaucophytes, Viridiplantae are thought to belong to a larger clade called Archaeplastida or Primoplantae.

A taxonomic evaluation of eukaryotes based on myosin distribution showed the Viridiplantae lost class-I myosins.[9]

Phylogeny and classification

Leliaert et al. 2012

Simplified phylogeny of the Viridiplantae, according to Leliaert et al. 2012.[10]

  • Viridiplantae
  • core chlorophytes


Chlorophyta (prasinophytes + UTC clade)


Prasinococcales (prasinophyte clade VI)

Nephroselmidophyceae (prasinophyte clade III)

prasinophyte clade IX

prasinophyte clade VIII

Pycnococcaceae (prasinophyte clade V)

Mamiellophyceae (prasinophyte clade II)

Pyramimonadales (prasinophyte clade I)

Picocystis (prasinophyte clade VII)

CCMP1205 clade

core chlorophytes

Chlorodendrophyceae (prasinophyte clade IV)

UTC clade




Streptophyta (Charophyta + land plants)





Zygnematophyceae (including Desmidiales)

Chaetosphaeridium (Coleochaetophyceae)

Coleochaete (Coleochaetophyceae)

Embryophytes (land plants)

Cladogram following Leliaert et al. (2012), Figure 3

See also


  1. ^ a b T. Cavalier-Smith (1981). "Eukaryote Kingdoms: Seven or Nine?". BioSystems. 14 (3–4): 461–481. PMID 7337818. doi:10.1016/0303-2647(81)90050-2. 
  2. ^ Cocquyt E, Verbruggen H, Leliaert F, Zechman FW, Sabbe K, De Clerck O (2009). "Gain and loss of elongation factor genes in green algae". BMC Evol. Biol. 9: 39. PMC 2652445Freely accessible. PMID 19216746. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-9-39. 
  3. ^ Becker B (2007). "Function and evolution of the vacuolar compartment in green algae and land plants (Viridiplantae)". Int. Rev. Cytol. International Review of Cytology. 264: 1–24. ISBN 9780123742636. PMID 17964920. doi:10.1016/S0074-7696(07)64001-7. 
  4. ^ Kim E, Graham LE (2008). Redfield, Rosemary Jeanne, ed. "EEF2 analysis challenges the monophyly of Archaeplastida and Chromalveolata". PLoS ONE. 3 (7): e2621. PMC 2440802Freely accessible. PMID 18612431. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002621. 
  5. ^ Smith SA, Beaulieu JM, Donoghue MJ (2009). "Mega-phylogeny approach for comparative biology: an alternative to supertree and supermatrix approaches". BMC Evol. Biol. 9: 37. PMC 2645364Freely accessible. PMID 19210768. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-9-37. 
  6. ^ "Viridiplantae". Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  7. ^ [citation needed]
  8. ^ Simon A, Glöckner G, Felder M, Melkonian M, Becker B (2006). "EST analysis of the scaly green flagellate Mesostigma viride (Streptophyta): implications for the evolution of green plants (Viridiplantae)". BMC Plant Biol. 6: 2. PMC 1413533Freely accessible. PMID 16476162. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-6-2. 
  9. ^ Odronitz F, Kollmar M (2007). "Drawing the tree of eukaryotic life based on the analysis of 2,269 manually annotated myosins from 328 species". Genome Biol. 8 (9): R196. PMC 2375034Freely accessible. PMID 17877792. doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-9-r196. 
  10. ^ Leliaert, F., Smith, D.R., Moreau, H., Herron, M.D., Verbruggen, H., Delwiche, C.F. & De Clerck, O. (2012). "Phylogeny and molecular evolution of the green algae" (PDF). Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. 31: 1–46. doi:10.1080/07352689.2011.615705. 
  11. ^ Marin, B (2012). "Nested in the Chlorellales or Independent Class? Phylogeny and Classification of the Pedinophyceae (Viridiplantae) Revealed by Molecular Phylogenetic Analyses of Complete Nuclear and Plastid-encoded rRNA Operons". Protist. 163: 778–805. doi:10.1016/j.protis.2011.11.004. 

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