With another similar protoplast, which constitutes what we call fertilization, the next stage in complexity already noted may be observed, the protoplasm becoming clothed by a cell-membrane.
This is a primal necessity of the protoplast,and every cell gives evidence of its need by adopting one of the various ways in which such need is supplied.
No doubt the primary object of the cell-wall of even the humblest protoplast is protection, and this too is the meaning of the coarser tegumentary structures of a bulkier plant.
Occupying as these algae do perhaps the lowest grade of plant life, it is a matter of interest to ascertain whether a nucleus or chromatophore is differentiated in their cells, or whether the functions and properties of these bodies are diffused through the whole protoplast.
It does not at first appear to be the same with the bulkier plants, such as the ordinary green herbs, shrubs or trees, but a study of their earlier development indicates that they do not at the outset differ in any way from the simple undifferentiated forms. Each commences its existence as a simple naked protoplast, in the embroyo-sac or the archegonium, as the case may be.