LIFE CYCLE OF FUNARIA
(Division: Bryophyta, Class: Bryopsida, Order: Funariales, Family: Funariaceae, Genus: Funaria)
Occurrence: Funaria is a terrestrial moss which grows as dense green patches, in moist shady conditions
such as damp soil, shady banks, damp tree trunks and walls.
Structure of Gametophyte: It shows two parts – a prostrate underground protonema and an erect leafy
• The gametophores is differentiated into rhizoids, axis or stem and leaves.
• Rhizoids are multicellular, branched with oblique walls.
• The stem is erect, 1-3 cm tall, branched. Branches are extra-axillary.
• Stems and branches covered with spirally arranged leaves. Leaves are simple, sessile with a midrib.
They are crowded at the tip of the stem to form a bud-like head.
Anatomy of stem: T.S. of stem shows 3 distinct parts: An outer single layered epidermis with green cells.
The middle region is cortex which is multilayered. Outer cells of cortex are thick walled.
The central region is called central cylinder. It consists of vertically elongated thin walled narrow, dead
cells without protoplasm. They are the conducting cells and also called hydroids.
Anatomy of Leaf: The leaf consists of a single layer of chlorophyllous cells. The mid rib part is many cells
in thickness. Within the midrib narrow thick-walled conducting cells are present.
Gametophore T. S. of stem and leaf
Multiplication by protonema: Fragments of leaf and stem can give rise to protonema which produces
new plant under suitable conditions.
Bulbils or tubers: bulbils develop in the rhizoids.
Gemmae: develop in the terminal cells of the protonemal branches.
Sexual Reproduction: It is advanced oogamous type. Antheridia and archegonia are produced in
clusters at the tips of special branches called antheridial or male branches and archegonial or female
branches in same (monoecious) plant.
Structure of antheridial branch and antheridia: Antheridial branch or male flower is produced at the tip
of the main stem of the gametophyte. It is surrounded by cluster of leaves called perigonial leaves.
• Antheridia are arranged in clusters, intermixed with sterile multicellular hairs called paraphyses.
Paraphyses are protective in function.
• Mature antheridia are club shaped with a long, multicellular stalk and a globular body.
• The body is covered with a single layered jacket which surrounds numerous androgonial cells.
• The androgonial cells develop into antherozoids or sperms.
• Each sperm is spirally coiled, elongated structure with a pair of flagella. Mature sperms are released
from the antheridium by the separation of the jacket cells.
Structure of archegonial branch and archegonia: The archegonial branches develop from the base of
the male branches. They are covered with large leaves called perichaetial leaves. Cluster of archegonia
are found at the tip of the each
• The mature archegonium is flask
shaped with a basal multicellular
stalk, long twisted neck and a
• The neck is covered with 6
vertical rows of neck cells and
cover cells. It encloses more than
10 neck canal cells.
• The venter is covered by 2-3
layers of cells. It encloses a
venter canal cell and a basal egg
cell.Intermixed with the
archegonia, long hair-like,
multicellular paraphyses are
Structure of Sporophyte: The sporophyte is seen at the apex of the archegonial or female branch. A
mature sporophyte shows three distinct parts – the foot, seta and capsule.
• The foot is a small conical structure embedded in the female tissue. It helps in attaching the
sporophyte to the gametophyte and absorption of nutrients from it.