Protist n., plural: protists Definition: any of a group of eukaryotic bio organisms belonging come the Kingdom Protista.

species of ProtistsReproduction and Life CycleReproductionThe life bicycle of ProtistClassification the ProtistsQuiz

Protist Definition

What is a protist? all protists space eukaryotes, i.e. Organisms with anucleus. However, they space neither fungi no one plants. Lock are additionally not animals. They room a separate team of life things. The majority of them are unicellular; however, few protists room multicellular.

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Fun fact: Which room the only multicellular protists? Kelps (brown algae) space the only multicellular protists.

Protist (biology definition): any of a group of eukaryotic bio organisms belonging to the Kingdom Protista. Protists include: (1) protozoa, the animal-like protists, (2) algae, the plant-like protists, and (3) slime molds and water molds, the fungus-like protists. Etymology: native Greek “protiston” + (“-a”), an interpretation the (most) an initial of all ones. Serious Haeckel coined the term, “Protista”.

What space protists? Protists room eukaryotes. They have actually a very organized nucleus and also cellular organelles. Many of them room unicellular; few are primitive multicellular organisms. Part protists additionally possess a locomotory organ (flagella or cilia). Usually, protists dwell in water, damp terrestrial environments, or occasionally as helminth as well. Protists are believed to be the common ancestral link between plants, animals, and fungi native which these three teams branched the end in the procedure of evolution. They room assumed to it is in the predecessor come plants, animals, and also fungi, and also the very first eukaryotes.

Protozoa, algae, and slime molds are few of the examples of the members that the Kingdom Protista, i m sorry is a extremely heterogeneous repertoire of microbial eukaryotes. Many of the protists exhibition the the very least similarity amongst themselves.

Figure 1: various kinds that protists. Credit: LibreTexts libraries, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

History the Classification

As every the more quickly of the classification, every the organisms were classified into three kingdoms: animal, plant, and also mineral. It was John Hogg, in the beforehand 1860s, who came up through Protoctista to include the imreparable cells plants and also animals.

Protoctista (definition): the is the 4th kingdom the nature as proposed by man Hogg. It consists of uncellular cells or primitive multicellular organisms that space not plants, animals, or fungi. They perform not have much in common apart from a fairly simple organization. Lock may happen as unicellular, multicellular, coenocytic, or early american organisms.

The members that Protoctista were the primitive unicellular creates of both plants and animals.Later, the team “Protoctista ” was changed by Ernst Haeckel. The coined the term “Protist”. This brought about a category system with three organic kingdoms: plants, animals, and also protists. Thus, serious Haeckel to be the very first to divide organisms right into the ‘kingdom that primitive forms’ or ‘Protista’ in the 1860s and included anucleated (lacking in the nucleus) microbes such together bacteria. In 1938, Herbert Copeland had nucleated standard scale such together diatoms, environment-friendly algae, and also fungi under Protista.

Later, this 3-scheme of group system later created the communication of Whittaker’s group that made fungi a separate kingdom. Hence, by Whittaker’s group system, all the organisms have the right to be divide into four kingdoms of life: (1) Fungi, (2) Animalia, (3) Plantae, and also (4) Protista. later on still, prokaryotes to be separated native the kingdom Protista and also were placed in a new and different kingdom ‘Monera’. Thus, forming five kingdoms.

Protists The clinical name of protists
Amoeba Amoeba proteus
Paramecium Paramecium pentaurelia
Stentor Stentor coeruleus
Euglena Euglena gracilis
Volvox Colonial volvox
Slime mold Physarum polycephalum

Characteristics the Protists

What perform all protists have in common? all protists room eukaryotic biology i.e., organisms through a membrane-enclosed nucleus. The key Protista qualities are together follows:

They room eukaryotes. Protists have the right to be helminth (eg., Trypanosoma protozoa) generally aquatic; however, deserve to be existing in the floor or moist environment Protists are primarily unicellular however, kelps that space classified as a member that Kingdom protists space multicellular and can grow up to 100 ft. In height (Giant Kelp)
Figure 2: multicell protists- Kelps. Credit: NOAA Sea give Program, CC by 2.0. Protist organisms have actually nucleus together with membrane-bound oribelles The majority of the protists have actually locomotory organs, such as cilia and flagella. Others have actually a pseudopodium for locomotion.

Types that Protists

The protists space basically classified right into three main species of protist (detached conversation in section: Protist Classification):

Animal-like protists: heterotrophs and motile. Plant-like protists: autotrophs v the capability to bring out photosynthesis. Fungi-like protists: heterotrophs and characteristically have actually cell wall surfaces in the cells and also spores formation is the reproduction method.

Owing to the diverse characteristics of protists, they deserve to be divide into diverse groups based on shape, size, atom structures, cytoplasmic organelles, etc. The taxonomy of the protist kingdom is ever-changing as result of the diversity of this kingdom. However, the many common approach to categorize the protist is based upon nutrition and motility.


Autotrophic protists are typically non-motile and also can synthesize food of their own and also are much more like plants. Like plants, these autotrophic protists have actually pigments to carry out photosynthesis. This pigments render different colors to this protists. Various protists have different pigments. Some have chlorophyll as viewed in green algae, fucoxanthin found in brown algae, and phycoerythrin uncovered in red algae. Interestingly, 40% the the world’s complete photosynthesis is lugged out by autotrophic protists.


If the entire spectrum arrays from autotrophs to heterotrophs climate mixotrophs fall somewhere in between. Mixotrophs essentially utilize different sources of carbon and energy. These protists room a combination of phototroph (organisms having their very own chloroplast) and phagotroph (organisms that get chloroplast by enslaving the chloroplast containing cell of an additional organism i.e. kleptoplasty).

Harriet Jones divided mixotrophs, based on dominancy and duty of phototrophy and phagotrophic, into four groups:

Heterotrophy, wherein phagotrophy is the conventional mode and phototrophy is only used when food for phagotrophy is not accessible or in minimal numbers. Phototrophy, wherein phototrophy is the foremost strategy, and phagotrophy is desired when sunshine is low or limited. The substances because that both growth and also ingestion are derived by the procedure of phototrophy, however, in minimal light phagotrophy is employed. The frequently employed mode for nutrition is phototrophy, however, during an extensive dark periods, once light is very limiting phagotrophy is employed.

In an alternative classification proposed by Diane K. Stoeker, mixotrophs are classified into three types:

Type 1: These are “Ideal mixotrophs” that use both prey and also sunlight equally. Type 2: Phototrophic task is supplemented v phagotrophy Type 3: The organisms that adjust according come the surrounding conditions and ease of access of sunlight. These organisms mostly utilize phototrophic task when the ease of access of food is low. This team is mostly heterotrophic

Aditee Mitra et al. categorized mixotrophs into two an easy groups:

Constitutive mixotrophs: this mixotrophs are essentially phagotrophic organisms that likewise possess inherently capacity to lug out photosynthesis Non-constitutive mixotrophs: these mixotrophs are basically phagotrophic organisms, however, in order to acquire the capability to photosynthesize these mixotrophs must consume prey.

Further, based top top motility, protists deserve to be classified together follows:

Diplomonads: this protists are unicellular organisms with flagella. Typically, this protists contain 2 nuclei and also mitosomes. Because that example, Giardia Parabasalids: this protists contain a parabasal body and also hydrogenosomes Euglenozoans: these protists room unicellular organisms through flagella with a usual flagellar crystalline rod Alveolates: together the surname suggests, this protists contain sacs in the cytoplasmic membrane, i m sorry are well-known as alveoli. This may more be classified together follows: Ciliates: as the surname suggests, this protists have cilia together their locomotory organ at least for some component of your life; e.g., Paramecium Dinoflagellates: this organisms have actually flagella that have the right to exhibit a rotate movement. It can be found in marine and freshwater Apicomplexans: This group of helminth are normally obligate animal parasites and are qualified of bring about diseases. They likewise contain degenerate chloroplasts called apicoplasts. The malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium is an instance of this class. Stramenopiles: these protists room oomycetes or water molds and exemplified by diatoms, golden algae, and also brown algae. Cercozoans: earlier known as amoeba and radiolarians. Because that locomotion, these protists possess “thread-like pseudopodia”. Amoebozoa: this protists have actually lobe-shaped pseudopodia. This class includes slime molds.

Kingdom Protista is highly diverse and so, to date, no final agreement in between scientists regarding how to classify them into phyla.

Reproduction and also Life Cycle


How carry out protists reproduce? the is very interesting to learn! Protists have the right to reproduce asexually and also sexually. Back the majority of the protist experience reproduction via one asexual setting of reproduction.Asexual binary fission is the most typical mode the reproduction in protists.

A. Asexual setting of reproduction in protists

This parent cell divides itself into two daughter cells each having the same hereditary composition as that of the mommy cell i.e. Clones. In the asexual setting of reproduction, just one parental cell is there. Asexual setting of reproduction can take place via a number of methods, as defined below.

Binary Fission: the parent body divides into two same daughter cell by undergoing mitosis. Examples: Amoeba, Euglena, and Paramecium. Multiple Fission: here, the parent cell divides into a variety of daughter cells. Examples: Amoeba and Plasmodium. Plasmotomy: this mode of asexual reproduction is viewed in the multinucleate protists. In this mode, the multinucleate parental cell undergoes department to form two or an ext multinucleate offspring. However, in this process, only the department of the cytoplasm occurs there is no department of the nucleus. Example: Opalina. Spore Formation: some protists kind spores by asexual reproduction in bespeak to stand up to unfavorable or undesirable eco-friendly conditions. Once spores space exposed to the optimum conditions, lock germinate and kind new progeny. Example: slime molds. Budding: a small outgrowth or protrusion creates on the human body of the parental cell which at some point pinches turn off to type a brand-new organism. Example: Arcella (a sarcodine)
Different settings of reproduction in Protista. Source: amendment by Maria Victoria Gonzaga,benidormclubdeportivo.org, native the works of Deuterostome, CC BY-SA 4.0. And also LibreTexts libraries, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

B. Sexual setting of reproduction in protists

The sexual setting of reproduction actually originated in protists. This mode of reproduction involves two simple processes:

Meiosis: that is the essential part of the sexual mode of reproduction, within the variety of chromosomes is lessened from 2n (diploid) to n (haploid). This step of reduction of the variety of chromosomes is necessary to keep the variety of chromosomes continuous in the progeny that a species. Fertilization or Fusion of two chromosomes in gametes to type a zygote comprise 2n chromosomes (fertilization the egg).

In protists, sex-related reproduction can happen by two methods-

Conjugation: in this mode of sex-related reproduction, two individuals/organisms exchange your haploid pronuclear after a temporary union in stimulate to type a zygote nucleus. Eventually, both the parents have a zygote cell nucleus that ultimately undergoes binary fission to kind daughter organisms. Example: Paramecium. Clock the video of Paramecium link below.

The life cycle of Protist

Owing to the diversity of the protists, your life cycle varieties from basic to complex. Part protists undergo one periodic binary fission, when others might reproduce via asexual and also sexual phases. Certain algal protists also undertake a hibernation period comparable to mammals.

It has been discovered that protists stay dormancy as soon as food is not easily accessible in enough quantities or throughout low temperatures, presumably to preserve the food and energy reserve till favorable existence conditions are available again. Particular protists room parasitic and also can have multiple hosts throughout your life cycle. Such parasitic protists may likewise spend some part of your life cycle in a carrier the transports it to the next host.

The life cycle of slime molds

There are species of life cycles the are complied with by the slime molds:

A. Plasmodial type

Large multinucleated cells that relocate along surfaces throughout their feeding stage form the plasmodial kind of slime molds. These slime molds lift and also engulf food corpuscle or bacteria by gliding along. Once this plasmodium matures, it forms a net-like appearance. It additionally has the volume to create fruiting bodies, or sporangia over a stalk, during stress.

Haploid spores are created within the sporangia because of meiosis. This spores at some point disseminate v the air or water and reach the favorable atmospheres wherein castle germinate to produce progeny. The progeny could be amoeboid or flagellate haploid cells which in turn combine with each other to create diploid zygotic slime mold.

Figure 4: Plasmodial slime mold life cycle. Credit: LibreTexts libraries, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

B. Moving types

These slime molds behave practically like independent amoeboid cells as soon as there is plenty and also abundant supply of nutrients. However, when the food source gets depleted, cellular slime molds collectively form a single unit referred to as a slug. In the slug, few cells type stalks (~2-3 cm in length). In ~ the top of this stalks, asexual fruiting bodies bearing haploid spores are formed. This spores disseminate to with an optimal moist atmosphere wherein they germinate. A classic example of to move slime molds is Dictyostelium, which have the right to be easily found in the damp soil of forests.

Figure 5: moving slime molds life cycle. Credit: LibreTexts libraries, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0..

Habitats of various Protists

Where perform protists live? Protist is a family members of end 100,000 living species. The majority of the protists flourish in the aquatic environment., e.g. Freshwater, maritime milieu, wet soil, and some space even found in the snow. The common and also classic instance of aquatic protists is Paramecia. Paramecium is among the most commonly used research study organisms, particularly in classrooms and also laboratories. This is due to the ease and also abundance of their availability. Several of the protists are parasitic and also therefore lock reside in host cells or organisms. Amoeba is a person parasite the can result in dysentery in the hold human. Some of the protists prosper on the dead biology or your wastes and also are necessary scavengers of the ecology. Slime molds room the protists the live ~ above bacteria and also fungi discovered in rotting trees and also forests.

Evolutionary history of Protists

The existence of a nucleus, specifically in basic protists choose paramecium and also amoeba, is the striking feature as result of which scientists believe that protists were the very first eukaryotic cells. This is based upon the ‘endosymbiotic theory, which to be laid down based on the fossils and also evidence found.

According come this theory, the symbiotic relationship in between two or more prokaryotic cell laid the foundation for the evolution of eukaryotic bio cells. The is hypothesized that bigger prokaryotic cell engulfed one or smaller eukaryotic cells. These two cells then developed a symbiotic relationship between them. The smaller sized prokaryotic now became the endosymbionts. The two cells benefited from every other, the smaller sized cell obtained the protection and also nutrients if the outer or the bigger cell obtained the energy from the smaller sized cell. Thus, both cells got benefited from each other.

Over a duration of time, the endosymbiotic cell developed into a cabinet organelle and the two cells then became fully dependent top top each various other or survival. Thus, the protist progressed into a an extremely diverse team of organisms, wherein depending on the endosymbiotic cell, the ultimate protist acquired the dedicated organelle. For example, specific endosymbiotic cell were originally aerobic bacteria and also hence they progressed into mitochondria in the eukaryotic bio cell. Certain cyanobacteria the were endosymbiotic eventually emerged into chloroplast in the eukaryotic cells.

Endosymbiotic concept is well supported by numerous pieces the evidence:

Mitochondrial and chloroplasts DNA is various from the nuclear DNA that the cell. Interestingly, this DNA is circular like bacterial DNA. The plasma membranes roughly Mitochondria and also chloroplasts are similar to bacter membranes. Mitochondria and chloroplasts both divide by the process of binary fission, similar to bacteria. Chloroplasts have actually structural and biochemical similarities to cyanobacteria.
Figure 6: advancement of protists based on the endosymbiotic theory. Credit: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal (LadyofHats) for CK-12 Foundation, CC BY-NC 3.0.

Classification of Protists

There room three types of protists:

pet like protist or Protozoa Plant prefer protist or Alage Fungi choose protist or Molds


Protozoa room single-cell, motile, and also heterotrophic organisms. Because of their motility and also heterotrophic nature, castle are referred to as animal-like or protozoa. Protozoa are additional classified based upon their motility, as offered below.

Table1: group of protozoa

form of protozoa name of organism body organ for motility
Amoeboid Amoeba Pseudopodium
Ciliate Paramecium Cilia
Flagellate Giardia Flagella
Sporozoan Plasmodium The adult form is immobile


These protists room both single cells (algae, diatoms) and also multicellular (seaweed or kelp). This protists are dubbed plant-like as result of the autotrophic nature of this organisms. This protists own chloroplast and also synthesize their very own food by the process of photosynthesis. Scientists think that plants evolved from algae. Algae room categorized into four groups depending on the color of the pigment existing in them.

Table 2: group of Algae

category Chloroplast type
Red algae Red or brown shade chlorophyll comparable to cyanobacteria; chloroplast having two membranes
Green Algae Green color chlorophyll similar to cyanobacteria; chloroplast having two membranes
Euglenids Green color chlorophyll’ chloroplast having actually three membrane
Dinoflagellates Red or brown shade chlorophyll similar to cyanobacteria; chloroplast having three membranes


These protists feed on organic decaying matter. This protists share two key similarities v fungi, i.e., these protists feeding on necessary decaying matter and reproduce by the formation of spores. However, they have cellulosic cell wall surfaces whereas fungi have chitin in your cell wall. This protists deserve to have motility in a certain part of their life cycle. These protists room further divided into 2 classes:

Slime mold: these are fungus-like and also feed on decaying organic issue like compost and rotting logs. This protists move gradually and also eat the decaying organic matter. In situation the ease of access of the organic matter is less, this protists agglomerate to type a slimy mass and also move gradually by slide upon their very own secretion and also eating the necessary matter. The slime molds again have the right to be acellular and cellular. Acellular molds agglomerate to kind a solitary cell having actually multiple nuclei conversely, cellular molds proceed to continue to be as distinctive cells. Water Molds: this protists are found in moist soil and surface water. Several of the members of this class are tree pathogens, infecting, and destroying plants like grapes, lettuce, corn, and also potatoes. Others are parasitic ~ above fish and other maritime animals.

In 2005, a group of 28 scientists has actually categorized all the protists right into the adhering to six major categories-

Amoebozoa: amoeba-like cells. Several free-living and parasitic amoebas, and slime molds, are contained in this category. Examples: Acanthamoeba, Entamoeba, Dictyostelium Opisthokonta: this classification includes the fungi, the choanoflagellates, and also the metazoa. Rhizaria: the bulk of the organisms are additionally amoeboid i.e., amoeba-like. Examples: foraminifera and radiolaria. Archaeoplastida: autotrophic, photosynthetic, have plastid in your cell. Examples: red algae, green algae, and greater plants. Chromalveolata: a composite group, which specialists have further separated into four distinctive groups- · Alveolates: includes ciliates, such together paramecium and also tetrahymena, malaria parasite plasmodium, and also the dinoflagellates (Interesting fact dinoflagellates are an important part the aquatic food chains and cause toxicity “red tides” in the ocean). · Stramenopiles: photosynthetic and includes diatoms and also brown algae. · Haptophytes: photosynthetic protist · Cryptophytes: photosynthetic varieties Excavata: has parasites, such together the trypanosomes that cause African sleeping sickness, and free-living organisms, such as Euglena

Ecological prominence of Protists

Protists space a an important and essential part of the ecology. They lug out many an important activities forced for the ecological balance. In fact, the is presumed, if protists vanish native the world, climate it would lead to the fallen of the civilization ecology immediately. Several of the critical role played by the protists room as follows:

Protists form the structure of the food chain. The protist feeds top top the bacteria and microbes and thus controls the population of bacteria and also microbes. The autotrophic protists lug out virtually 40% of the world’s complete photosynthesis and aid in reducing an international carbon dioxide and fixing carbon. The molds are main decomposers in soil, specifically in forests, and also feed top top bacteria, fungi, etc. Floating microscopic algae is well-known as phytoplankton and also it is the basic component the the naval food chain. Whales feeding on phytoplankton. Plenty of protists space ‘mixotrophs’ type the vital component the the aquatic microbial food web. Algae aid to develop coral reefs. Red and also green coralline algae produce a lead carbonate exoskeleton which eventually forms the part of the coral reef. Countless protists are pathogenic and cause diseases both in human and plants being decomposers, protists help in recycling nutrients in the ecosystem.

Economic prestige of Protists

Some protists carry out photosynthesis and also produce oxygen. Together protists have actually the potential to develop biofuel.

Many protists, e.g. Red alga Porphyra, etc, have actually been uncovered to have actually medicinal value and are prescribed because that the monitoring of conditions like hypertension, arthritis, ulcers, and also joint pain. · seaweeds are really rich resource of potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and also minerals and also are a very great fertilizer or cattle feed supplement. Seaweed is also consumed together food in nations like Japan.

Diatoms develop diatomitein your cell wall. This is widely supplied for assorted purposes. Cement, stucco, plaster, grouting, dental impressions, paper, asphalt, paint, and pesticides all usage diatomite. Diatomite likewise has abrasive properties.

Agar-agar is a cell wall component that the red algae, especially Gelidium and Gracilaria. Agar is the primary development media supplied in microbiology. It is additionally extensively provided in the food market as a thickener for eg., jams, bakery, etc. Agarose, purified indigenous agar, is critical component to lug out gel-electrophoresis in research laboratories. Agar is likewise used together a bulk-laxative.

Another polysaccharide cell wall surface component of red algae, largely Irish moss is carrageenan. Carrageenan is broadly used in the food industry for making ice cream cream, fruit syrups, whipped cream, custard, evaporated milk, cacao milk, bread, and macaroni. That is additionally used in production toothpaste, pharmaceutical jellies, and lotions.

Another vital component of brown birds is algin. Because of its capacity to hold and absorb water, algin is a organic thickener the is widely offered as an additive in beer, syrup, toothpaste, hand lotion, water-based paints, textile sizing, and also ceramic glaze.

Fossil fuel has been prepared from the stays of ancient animals and also brown algae.

Examples ofProtists

Protists exhibition stimuli sensitivity and also respond to different environmental stimuli prefer light and gravity. In most photosynthetic protists, light or photostimulus additionally serves as direction-guiding stimuli, i.e. phototaxis. Because that the purpose of phototaxis, protists have developed a photoreceptor or ‘eyespots‘. Eyespots are highly emerged photosensitive organs uncovered in the household of non-photosynthetic dinoflagellates, the Warnowiaceae. The eyespot comprises a hyalosome (lens), a retinoid, and also an opaque colours cup or melanosome. This is quite interesting as this group is basically a phagotroph, hence, the simple use the this eyespot is an ext as a guiding body organ rather 보다 a phototrophic organ. While other groups of protists v flagella, including numerous genera of eco-friendly algae (like Chlamydomonas), dinoflagellates, and also cryptophytes have actually a light antenna.

Many protists it seems ~ to have actually gravity sensors as well, as they move in a an adverse or positive gravity atmosphere in solution to the external eco-friendly stimulus. For eg: ciliates that the genera, Loxodes and Remanella present a gravity an answer that is dependence on the level the the dissolved oxygen. This ciliates have actually gravity receptors known as Muller vesicles. This ciliates conference at the anaerobic and aerobic zones user interface in the water column. This ciliates swim downwards in the oxygen-containing water, when in the anoxic environment these ciliates swim upward.

Protists favor Paramecium are ciliate and motile. However, under stress problems like high temperatures, sudden transforms in pH or osmotic pressure, exposure come solvents, and also other deleterious chemicals, lock stop moving momentarily, go backward, and after part time again start moving in a different direction. This ‘avoidance reaction’ to avoid any undesirable stress problem is a classic ciliate feature. In each Paramecium, there space two nuclei, a macronucleus (for asexual binary fission and also biological function and a micronucleus (for sex-related reproduction).

Endosymbiotic combinations are highly prevalent in protists. One together endosymbiotic relation is seen practically always in green ciliate Paramecium bursaria and an algal Chlorella.

The diatoms room the unique photosynthetic uncellular cells protists the enclose themselves in patterned, glassy cell walls. This glassy cell wall is essentially made up of silicon dioxide. This diatoms act as ‘Carbon pumps’ for offering carbon in the ocean depths.

The presence of carotenoids in the gold algae gives them a characteristic gold color. Naval ciliate Myrionecta rubrum (formerly, Mesodinium rubrum) is photosynthetic. This naval ciliate is responsible because that the development of “red tides” (massive blooms the impart a red color to the sea). This ciliate has chloroplast-mitochondrial complexes, which room basically the endosymbiotic algal oribelles being used by the organize protist because that its utility. Ciliated planktons save “captured” chloroplasts, which maintain their functionality in the hold cell for an extensive period.

Giant kelps or brown algae space multicellular protists, that deserve to grow significantly in elevation resembling terrestrial trees. These protists also develop root-like holdfasts, stem-like stipes, and also leaf-like blades structures the resemble tree on the earth’s surface.

Parasitic protists, the Apicomplexa (formerly the Sporozoa) has malaria-causing obligate intracellular parasite ‘Plasmodium‘. Together the surname of the class suggests, these protists have actually a properties structure- the apical complex. This apical complicated is used by the protist because that intrusion right into the hold cell. This apical complex has a secretory organelle known as rhoptries. The rhoptries release enzymes when intruding into the cell membrane the the host.

Figure 7: Apical complex in the sporozoite phase of the plasmodium. Credit: Virender, K., & Bhasin. (n.d.). ZOOLOGY biology of Parasitism Plasmodium: Morphology and Life Cycle advance Team. Source.

Another interesting feature in helminth apicocomplexid protists like Plasmodium is the existence of one organelle comparable to the chloroplastic of green algae known as ‘apicoplastids’. This organelle is made up of a four-layer membrane and encases quick circular DNA. Back the exact function of this organelle is not yet known, the is being explored for arising drugs for targeting Plasmodium.

Phytophthora infestans is a pathogenic protist that causes diseases in plants. It caused late blight potato, which was the reason of major Irish famine.Plasmopara viticola is the helminth protist that causes a disease known together downy mildew in grapes. This protist was the reason of the almost collapse that the French wine sector in the 19th century. In parasitic kinetoplastids and the free-living euglenids and dinoflagellates, a complicated structure is known as paraflagellar rod (PFR) is found. Its duty seems to it is in a photoreceptor. However, new findings indicate its utility in the attachment to the organize cell during infection.

Foraminiferans or forams resemble small snails and exhibit porous shells, referred to as tests. The shell is hardened by calcium.

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Figure 8: Shells through forams that sink to the basic of the sea. Credit: Deep east 2001, NOAA/OER.

Try come answer the quiz listed below to examine what you have actually learned so far around protists.