Lycopodiophytes

Lycopodiophytes, e.g. Lycopodium, Selaginella and Isoetes, are early-diverging vascular plants, traditionally treated as pteridophytes although clearly distinct from the euphyllophytic pteridophytes (see below). Modern lycopodiophytes are the few remaining progeny of a much more diverse and abundant flora that throve in the Devonian. They are split into homo-sporous (e.g. Lycopodium) and heterosporous plants (e.g. Selaginella).

MeGal is abundant in all lycopodiophytes tested but not in bryophytes or euphyllophytes. MeRha is abundant in homosporous (but not heterospo-rous) lycopodiophytes. It is a component of their RG-II, in place of Rha (Matsunaga et al. 2004); however, the total MeRha content (Popper & Fry 2004) seriously exceeds what would be required for the modest RG-II content, suggesting that the MeRha of homosporous lycopodiophyte walls is not confined to RG-II.

Many lycopodiophyte walls are rich in Man, although the polysaccharides involved have not been characterized.

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