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Kingdom Protista. All protists are eukaryotes. This means that their cells contain a nucleus, a membrane-bounded structure that encloses the cell's genetic material.

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Kingdom Protista

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Kingdom protista l.jpg

Kingdom Protista

  • All protists are eukaryotes. This means that their cells contain a nucleus, a membrane-bounded structure that encloses the cell's genetic material.

  • Some protists are autotrophs like plants, others are consumers like animals. Unlike plants and animals, however, protists do not have cells organized into specialized tissues.

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Protista Classified by Nutrition

  • The first detailed descriptions of protists were made in 1676 by the inventor of the microscope, Dutch naturalist Leewenhoek.

  • The term Protista was first used in 1862 by the German biologist Haeckel to describe microscopic organisms that were neither animallike nor plantlike

  • The classification is currently based on the structure and organization of the cell, the presence of organelles, and the pattern of reproduction or life cycles. The five-kingdom system divides the Protista into 27 phyla. However, classifications based on comparisons of cell physiology and DNA sequences suggest that many protist phyla may be sufficiently large and diverse to be classified as kingdoms.

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  • Autotrophic Protists are called “Algae”. Scientists believe they gave rise to the kingdome Plantae

  • Ingestive Heterotrophic protists are called “Protozoa”. Scientists believe they gave rise to the kingdom Animalia

  • Absorptive heterotrophic protists are called “Slimemolds”. Scientists believe they gave rise to the kingdom Fungi

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Protozoa classified by locomotion

  • The word protozoa means "little animal." They are so named because many species behave like tiny animals—specifically, they hunt and gather other microbes as food.

  • Protozoa mainly feed on bacteria, but they also eat other protozoa, bits of stuff that has come off of other living things—what's generally called organic matter—and sometimes fungi.

  • Sarcodines, Flagellates, Ciliates,Sporozoans,

Actinophrys feeding on Colpidium

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Classification of Algae

  • When you think of algae, you probably think of seaweed or the green, slimy stuff that forms on the walls of untreated, dirty swimming pools.

  • Algae are found in bodies of fresh and salt water across the globe. They can also grow on rocks and trees and in soil when enough moisture is available. (They also grow on the hair of the South American sloth, giving the animal a greenish color.)

  • Most algae are able to make energy from sunlight, like plants do. They produce a large amount of the oxygen we breathe. However, at some stages of their lives, some algae get their nutrients from other living things.

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Slimemolds, Watermolds & Mildews

  • Slime molds have traits like both fungi and animals. They have very complex life cycles involving multiple forms and stages. During good times, they live as independent, amoeba-like cells, dining on fungi and bacteria. But if conditions become uncomfortable—not enough food available, the temperature isn't right, etc.—individual cells begin gathering together to form a single structure.

  • Water mold caused the Irish Potato Famine in 1846

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Harmful Protists

  • Produce a nerve poison in shellfish that kills humans and fish in red tide

  • Cause diseases: Chaga’s disease, Malaria, 2, Lyme disease, diarrhea, toxoplasmosis, dysentary, Trypanosomaisis, 2, Leishmaniasis, 2, Toxoplasma, Cryptospiridium, Leishmaniasis, Brain Amoeba

  • Cause mold and mildew which can spoil food and cause allergic reactions

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Beneficial Protists

  • Used as insect pathogens

  • used in ice cream, soups, nori (seaweed in sushi), jello, agar, vitamin supplements

  • ancient dinoflagellates formed oil deposits

  • bioluminescent

  • diatoms mined for fine abrasives in silver polish and toothpaste and as packing in air and water filters

  • marine phytoplankton make up ~70% of the oxygen on the planet

    Diatom Detectives

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Protista Links

  • Protist Kingdom:

  • Phylogenetic Tree:

  • Protozoa Bio 4 Kids:

  • Microbe Zoo, Dirtland:

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