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Protist. Row 4. What are Protists ?. A diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms. Historically treated as the kingdom ‘ Protista ’- which includes mostly unicellular organisms that do not fit into the other kingdoms.

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Row 4

What are protists
What are Protists?

  • A diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms.

  • Historically treated as the kingdom ‘Protista’- which includes mostly unicellular organisms that do not fit into the other kingdoms.

  • The protists do not have much in common besides a relatively simple organization—either they are unicellular, or they are multicellular without specialized tissues. This simple cellular organization distinguishes the protists from other eukaryotes, such as fungi, animals and plants.


  • Protists live in almost any environment that contains liquid water.

  • Many protists, such as the algae, are photosynthetic and are vital primary producers in ecosystems, particularly in the ocean as part of the plankton.

  • Other protists, such as the Kinetoplastids and Apicomplexa, are responsible for a range of serious human diseases, such as malaria and sleeping sickness.

  • Some protists reproduce sexually (gametes), while others reproduce asexually (binary fission).

Effect s on the human body
Effect/s on the Human Body

  • Some protists are significant pathogens of both animals and plants; for example Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria in humans, and Phytophthorainfestans, which causes late blight in potatoes. A more thorough understanding of protist biology may allow these diseases to be treated more efficiently.


  • African sleeping sickness, also known as trypanosomiasis, is found mostly in areas below the Sahara Desert in Africa. The parasitic protist that causes this disease, trypanosoma, is carried by the tsetse fly, which is found only in Africa.

  • Giardiasis is caused by the protistgiardia, which is one of the most frequently found waterborne parasites in the United States. Infection typically occurs after drinking contaminated water, usually from a lake, stream or well.


  • Amoebic dysentery is most commonly referred to as "Montezuma's Revenge." This affliction is caused by the amoeba Entamoebahistolytica and is transmitted similarly to giardiasis, infecting the host through ingestion of contaminated water or food. The parasite can be ingested as either free amoebae, which usually die in the acidic environment of the stomach, or infective cysts, which can burst open and release the parasite into the intestines. This disease typically affects travelers visiting foreign countries where water could be contaminated. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, pain during bowel movements or peritonitis, which is an infection of the intestinal lining.

Economic value
Economic Value

  • Source of food:Some protests such as kelps are edible and may be used to overcome shortage of food in world.

  • Source of commercial products:Many marine protests are also source of many useful substances like algin, agar, carrageen and antiseptics.

  • Primary Producer of Aquatic Ecosystem:Most of the protests are primary producers of the aquatic ecosystem thus they play a basic role in food chains, providing food and oxygen to other organisms.

  • Source of medicines:Sodium laminaria sulphate is used as a blood coagulant. Fucoidin and heparin are the algae products, which are also used as blood coagulants. Lyngbya produces an anticancer compound.


  • Source of mineral:Kelps are rich in sodium, potassium, iodine etc. They are good source of these minerals.

  • Biological research:Protists are also used in biological researches e.g. Chlorella is unicellular non-motile green alga.

  • Pathogens:Most of the organisms belongs to this group are pathogenic organisms. They cause many diseases in man or in vegetables and fruits like it cause late blight potatoes in potatoes and causes diseases in some fishes.

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  • Wikipedia

  • Great Pacific Media

  • Dayton K12

  • eHow

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