Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Committee Chair

Hotchkiss, Arland




General. – The Characaeae is the only extant family of an ancient and unique group of nonvascular aquatic plants which are classified as a separate division, the Charophyta (Groves and Bullock-Webster, 1920; Zaneveld, 1940; Imahori, 1954; Bold, 1957; and others) or as a separate class in the Chlorophyta (Fritsch, 1944; Smith, 1950; Wood and Imahori 1965; and others). Charophytes, like many green algae, are relatively simple haplobiontic plants with zygotic meiosis. However, their complex sexual apparatus, characterized by gametangia enclosed within several sterile cells, distinguishes them from all green algae. The basic morphological features of the genera Nitella and Chara are described and illustrated in this paper. Readily accessible texts which summarize earlier works on the life history of these plants include Fritsch (1935) and Smith (1950, 1955).