Streptophyta (/strɛpˈtɒfɪtə, ˈstrɛptftə/), informally the streptophytes (/ˈstrɛptəfts/, from the Greek strepto 'twisted', for the morphology of the sperm of some members), is a clade of plants. The composition of the clade varies considerably between authors, but the definition employed here includes land plants and all green algae except the Chlorophyta and the more basal Prasinodermophyta.[3]

Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Diaphoretickes
(unranked): Archaeplastida
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Streptophyta
Jeffrey 1967,[1] sensu Leliaert et al. 2012
  • Anthocerophyta Sluiman 1985[2]
  • Charophyta Migula 1897 sensu Lewis & McCourt 2004; Karol et al. 2009
  • Streptobionta Kenrick & Crane 1997

sister: chlorophyta


The composition of Streptophyta and similar groups (Streptophytina, Charophyta) varies in each classification.[4] Some authors are more restrictive, including only the Charales and Embryophyta (e.g., Streptophyta Jeffrey 1967; Adl et al. 2012, Streptophytina Lewis & McCourt 2004), others include more groups (e.g., Charophyta Lewis & McCourt 2004; Karol et al. 2009; Adl et al. 2012, Streptophyta Bremer, 1985; de Reviers 2002; Leliaert et al. 2012, Streptobionta Kenrick & Crane 1997; some authors use this broader definition, but exclude the Embryophyta, e.g., Charophyta Cavalier-Smith 1993;[5] Leliaert et al. 2012, Charophyceae Mattox & Stewart, 1984, Streptophycophytes de Reviers, 2002).

The organism, streptophyta, includes both unicellular and multicellular organisms. All living green plants belong to the major phylums including Streptophyta and chlorophyta. The Streptophyta phylum contains the charophyte green algae in freshwater habitat and also all land plants. Another thing about streptophyta is that this organism reproduces sexually by conjugation. There is another organism that is very similar to streptophyta is the Mesostigma viride organism and it is a green flagellate. Streptophyta include the charophycean lineage along with bryophytes and tracheophytes. Bryophytes are land plants that include liverworts, hornworts and mosses, and tracheophytes are vascular plants. The organism, streptophyta, was also found in Bahia, Brazil, and is characterized by having cell walls composed of a single unit, without pores or other ornamentations. The phylum Streptophyta comprises all land plants and six monophyletic groups of charophycean green algae.[6]

These earlier classifications have not taken into account that the Coleochaetophyceae and the Zygnemophyceae appear to have emerged in the Charophyceae + Embryophyta clade, resulting in the synonymy of the Phragmoplastophyta and Streptophytina/Streptophyta sensu stricto (a.k.a. Adl 2012) nomenclature.[7]

Jeffrey, 1967

Lewis & McCourt 2004

Leliaert et al. 2012

Adl et al. 2012

Adl et al. 2019

  • Archaeplastida Adl et al. 2005
    • Chloroplastida Adl et al. 2005 (Viridiplantae Cavalier-Smith 1981)
      • Phylum Streptophyta [Charophyta]
        • Chlorokybus atmophyticus
        • Mesostigma viridae
        • Family Klebsomidiophyceae
        • Class Phragmoplastophyta
          • Family Zygnemataceae
          • Order Coleochaetophyceae
          • Family Characeae
          • Kingdom Embryophyta

Please note the taxonomic name system inconsistency of the Kingdom in Class classification.[8]


Below is a reconstruction of Streptophyta relationships, based on genomic data.[9][10][11]

Mesostigmatophyceae s.l.

Mesostigma viride (Mesostigmatophyceae s.s.)





Charophyceae (Stoneworts & musk grasses)


Zygnematophyceae (desmids, water silk etc.)


Anthocerotophyta (hornworts)


Marchantiophyta (Liverworts)

Bryophyta (Mosses)






  1. Jeffrey C (1967). "The origin and differentiation of the Archegoniate land plants: A second contribution". Kew Bull. 21 (2): 335–349. doi:10.2307/4108533. JSTOR 4108533.
  2. Sluiman H. J. (1985). "A cladistic evaluation of the lower and higher green plants (Viridiplantae)". Plant Syst. Evol. 149 (3–4): 217–232. doi:10.1007/bf00983308. S2CID 19456207.
  3. Sánchez-Baracaldo, Patricia; Raven, John A.; Pisani, Davide; Knoll, Andrew H. (2017-09-12). "Early photosynthetic eukaryotes inhabited low-salinity habitats" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114 (37): E7737–E7745. doi:10.1073/pnas.1620089114. PMC 5603991. PMID 28808007.
  5. Cavalier-Smith, T. (1993). The origin, losses and gains of chloroplasts. In: Origins of plastids (pp. 291-348). Springer US.
  6. {Kapraun, D. F. (2007). Nuclear DNA content estimates in green algal lineages: Chlorophyta and Streptophyta. Annals of botany, 99(4), 677-701. Liang, Z., Geng, Y., Ji, C., Du, H., Wong, C. E., Zhang, Q., ... & Yu, H. (2020). Mesostigma viride genome and transcriptome provide insights into the origin and evolution of Streptophyta. Advanced Science, 7(1), 1901850. Nedelcu, A. M., Borza, T., & Lee, R. W. (2006). A land plant–specific multigene family in the unicellular Mesostigma argues for its close relationship to Streptophyta. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 23(5), 1011-1015. Oliveira, I. B. D., Bicudo, C. E. D. M., & Moura, C. W. D. N. (2013). First records of Zygnematales (Zygnematophyceae, Streptophyta) for the state of Bahia, Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 27(4), 743-750.}
  7. Lemieux, Claude; Otis, Christian; Turmel, Monique (2016). "Comparative Chloroplast Genome Analyses of Streptophyte Green Algae Uncover Major Structural Alterations in the Klebsormidiophyceae, Coleochaetophyceae and Zygnematophyceae". Frontiers in Plant Science. 7: 697. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00697. ISSN 1664-462X. PMC 4877394. PMID 27252715.
  8. Adl, Sina M.; Bass, David; Lane, Christopher E.; Lukeš, Julius; Schoch, Conrad L.; Smirnov, Alexey; Agatha, Sabine; Berney, Cedric; Brown, Matthew W. (2019). "Revisions to the Classification, Nomenclature, and Diversity of Eukaryotes". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 66 (1): 4–119. doi:10.1111/jeu.12691. ISSN 1550-7408. PMC 6492006. PMID 30257078.
  9. Linzhou Li; Sibo Wang; Hongli Wang; Sunil Kumar Sahu; Birger Marin; Haoyuan Li; Yan Xu; Hongping Liang; Zhen Li; Shifeng Chen; Tanja Reder; Zehra Çebi; Sebastian Wittek; Morten Petersen; Barbara Melkonian; Hongli Du; Huanming Yang; Jian Wang; Gane Ka-Shu Wong; Xun Xu; Xin Liu; Yves Van de Peer; Michael Melkonian; Huan Liu (22 June 2020). "The genome of Prasinoderma coloniale unveils the existence of a third phylum within green plants". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 4 (9): 1220–1231. doi:10.1038/s41559-020-1221-7. PMC 7455551. PMID 32572216.
  10. Puttick, Mark N.; Morris, Jennifer L.; Williams, Tom A.; Cox, Cymon J.; Edwards, Dianne; Kenrick, Paul; Pressel, Silvia; Wellman, Charles H.; Schneider, Harald (2018). "The Interrelationships of Land Plants and the Nature of the Ancestral Embryophyte". Current Biology. 28 (5): 733–745.e2. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.063. PMID 29456145.
  11. Sánchez-Baracaldo, Patricia; Raven, John A.; Pisani, Davide; Knoll, Andrew H. (2017-09-12). "Early photosynthetic eukaryotes inhabited low-salinity habitats" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114 (37): E7737–E7745. doi:10.1073/pnas.1620089114. PMC 5603991. PMID 28808007.
  • Bremer, K. (1985) Summary of green plant phylogeny and classification. Cladistics 1:369-385.
  • Lewis L.A.; McCourt R.M. (October 2004). "Green algae and the origin of land plants". American Journal of Botany. 91 (10): 1535–1556. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.10.1535. PMID 21652308.
  • Adl, S.M.; Simpson, A.G.B.; Lane, C.E.; Lukeš, J.; Bass, D.; Bowser, S.S.; Brown, M.W.; Burki, F.; Dunthorn, M.; Hampl, V.; Heiss, A.; Hoppenrath, M.; Lara, E.; le Gall, L.; Lynn, D.H.; McManus, H.; Mitchell, E.A.D.; Mozley-Stanridge, S.E.; Parfrey, L.W.; Pawlowski, J.; Rueckert, S.; Shadwick, L.; Schoch, C.L.; Smirnov, A.; Spiegel, F.W. (September 2012), "The Revised Classification of Eukaryotes", Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 59 (5): 429–514, doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2012.00644.x, PMC 3483872, PMID 23020233
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