Detailed Description of Kingdom Protista

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Protists are a group of all the eukaryotes that are not fungi, animals, or plants. As a result, it is a very diverse group of organisms. This simple cellular-level organization distinguishes protists from other eukaryotes, such as fungi, animals, and plants.
1. Kingdom Protista
2. General Characteristics
1. Any organism not classified as a—plant, animal,
fungus, or bacteria (prokaryote).
2. Protists are eukaryotic having a distinct nucleus
and organelles.
3. Most protists are unicellular (one-celled) but
some are multicellular.
3. 4. Protists are primarily classified according to
how they obtain nutrition:
a. Animal-like—heterotrophs Didinium
(eat other organisms) Paramecium
b. Plant-like—autotrophs
They contain chloroplasts Green like plants!
and make their own food
b. Fungus-like—
Water mold
4. Animal-like Protists (Protozoans)
1. Method of Movement:
a. Cilia—hair-like projections used for movement and Video
b. Cytoplasmic streaming—pseudopod (false foot) extends
and cytoplasm streams into it.
5. 2. Paramecium:
Contractile Vacuole
Collects and removes excess H2O
(Maintains homeostasis)
Oral Groove
Used to collect food
Cell Membrane
6. 3. Amoeba:
Contractile Vacuole
(False foot)
7. 4. Importance of Animal-like
a. Harmful
i. Disease-causing parasites spread
by insect bites
1. Malaria—Plasmodium spread
by mosquito
2. African Sleeping Sickness—
spread by Tsetse fly
8. b. Beneficial
i. Recycles nutrients by breaking down dead matter
ii. Food source—for other organisms
iii. Mutualism—both organisms benefit
Example: Trichonympha—makes it
possible for termites to eat
wood. Termites do not have the enzymes
to digest wood.
9. Plant-like Protists
1. Method of Movement:
a. Flagellum—whip-like structure used for movement
2. Euglena: Eyespot For photosynthesis
Contractile Vacuole
10. 3. Unicellular Algae:
a. Phytoplankton provides a source of nourishment for
other organisms
b. Protists recycle sewage and waste materials.
11. C. Algal blooms are harmful when overgrown—deplete water of
nutrients consequently killing fish.
Algal blooms called Red Tides cause illness, paralysis, and
death of fish and even humans.
12. 4. Multicellular Algae:
a. Examples---
i. Red Algae
ii. Green Algae
iii. Brown Algae
13. 5. Uses of Algae:
a. Algae is a good food source for life in
the oceans.
b. Algae produces much of Earth’s oxygen
through photosynthesis.
c. Algae is used to make sushi, ice cream,
salad dressing, plastics, paint, agar.
14. Fungus-like Protists:
1. Examples—
a. Slime molds
b. Water molds
15. 2. Importance of Fungus-like Protists:
a. Beneficial—
Recycles dead organic material. Results
in rich, topsoil providing nutrients for
16. b. Harmful—
P. Infestans (water mold) caused
Great Potato Famine in Ireland.
This lead to the mass starvation of
1 million Irish people.