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A cryptogam (scientific name Cryptogamae) is a plant (in the wide sense of the word) that reproduces by spores, without flowers or seeds. "Cryptogamae"(Greek !"#$% kryptos, "hidden" & '()*+, gameein, "to marry") means hidden reproducti on, referring to the fact that no seed is produced, thus cryptogams represent the non,seed bearing plants. -ther names, such as "thallophytes", "lower plants", and "spore plants" are also occasionally used. As a group, Cryptogamae are the opposite the seed of the .hanerogamae (Greek /(01 $%,phaneros 2 6he best known groups is of now "3isible") or 4permatophyta (Greek 5"* )(, sperma 2 "seed" and /!#$0, phyton 2 "plant"), plants. cryptogams deprecated are algae, lichens, mosses and ferns.789 6he in :innaean ta;onomy. At one time, the cryptogams were formally recognised as a group within the plant kingdom. <n his system for classification of all known plants and animals, Carl :innaeus (8=>=?8==@) di3ided the plant kingdom into AB classes, 7A97C9 one of which was the "Cryptogamia". 6his included all plants with concealed reproducti3e organs. De di3ided Cryptogamia into four ordersE Algae, Fusci (bryophytes), Gilices(ferns), and Gungi.7A9 Currently, not all cryptogams are treated as part of the plant kingdomH the fungi, in particular, are regarded as a separate kingdom, more closely related to animals than plants, while some algae are now regarded as allied with the bacteria. 6herefore, in contemporary plant systematics, "Cryptogamae" is not a name of a scientifically coherent group, but is cladistically polyphyletic. Dowe3er, all organisms known as cryptogams belong to the field traditionally studied by botanists and the names of classification

all cryptogams are regulated by theInternational Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.

What are the essential characteristics of viruses ?

Viruses are the most primitive cellular and non-cytoplasmic infectious agents. Russian botanist D.J. Iwanowski ( !"#$ first discovered virus in an infected tobacco plant. %owever& '.(. )ei*erink ( !"!$ coined the term virus. +hen ,merican chemist (.'. -tanley ( "./$ isolated pure crystal of +obacco 'osaic Viruses (+'V$ and concluded that viruses are made of nucleoproteins.

General Characteristics of Viruses:

(i$ Viruses are a cellular& non-cytoplasmic infectious agents. (ii$ +hey are smaller than bacteria& and this can pass through bacteriological filter. (iii$ Viruses are transmissible from disease to healthy organisms. (iv$ ,ll viruses are obligate parasites and can multiply only within the living host cells. (v$ Viruses contain only a single type of nucleic acid either D0, or R0,. (vi$ Viruses are host specific that they infect only a single species and definite cells of the host organisms. (vii$ Viruses are effective in very small doses. +hey are highly resistant to germicides and e1tremes of physical conditions.

Generalised Structure of Viruses:

(i$ -hape and si2e3 +he shape varies considerable. +hey may be spherical or golf ball-like& rod-shaped& tadpole-like& helical or polyhedral. 4lant viruses are smaller than bacteria. (ii$ 5hemical structure and function3 Viruses have a very simple structure. +he core of the viruses is made upon of nucleic acid& which is surrounded by a protein coat called capsid. +he nucleic acid always contains only a single kind of nucleic acid i.e. either D0, or R0,. +he infectious property of a virus is due to its nucleic acid. 5apsid or the protein coats3 It is made up of many identical protein sub-units called capsomeres. +he capsomeres are composed of either one or several type of proteins. 5apsomeres are arranged in a very symmetrical manner and give a specific shape to a particular virus. +he host specificity of virus is due to proteins of the capsid. )iological position of viruses3 Viruses lack a cytoplasmic membrane and they do not have the basic component of a cell. +hey can only replicate inside the host cell. 6utside the host cell& they are non-living. +hus& viruses show characters of both living and non-living. (I$ 0on-living 5haracters of Viruses3 7ollowing characters of viruses assign them as non-living3 (a$ +hey can be crystalli2ed. (b$ 6utside the cell& they behave like inert chemicals. (c$ +hey do not show growth& development& nutrition& reproduction& etc. (d$ +hey can be precipitated.

(II$ 8iving characters of viruses3 (a$ +hey multiply within host cells. (b$ +hey possess genetic material& either D0, or R0,. (c$ +here are definite races or strains. (d$ +hey e1hibit mutations. )ecause of the above reasons& viruses form uni9ue bridge between living and non-living things.

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:. ^ "Cryptogams". Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Archi ed from the original on !""#$%%$%&. Retrie ed !""#$"#$"!. ' a b G. (. )mith *%+,,-. Cryptogamic Botany. (cGra.$/ill, 0e. 1or2. ^ 3. ). 4i5on *%+#6-. Biology of the Rhodophyta. 7li er and Boyd, Edinburgh. 8)B0 "$",$""!9&,$

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