Did you know that protists are not animals, plants, or fungi, but they do share similarities! Some of these similarities and differences will be featured in the next couple slides.
Protists are eukaryotic cells, meaning that they are membrane bound organelles. Generally, protists are unicellular and may form colonies for convenience sake as they work together to benefit each other.
Protists are photosynthetic meaning that they make their own nutrients from the sun by photosynthesizing. Most protists require aquatic environments to live. In these environments they come in all forms, such as algae, who gain their nutrients by photosynthesis and living off of dead organisms.
Primary producers are, in a sense, organisms that provide nutrients for other organisms. Protists photosynthesize creating nutrients for other organisms.
This diagram is of a flagellum which is often found on the protists' cell. This flagellum is a very complicated structure that moves around in a whip-like motion, allowing the protist cell to move around.
Protists can reproduce either sexually or asexually. Protists commonly reproduce through binary fission which is where the DNA replicates and the protist cell splits into two, creating a daughter cell. They can also reproduce sexually where the parent cells contribute genetic information for the offspring.
Trypanosoma Gambiense is a vector-borne parasitic disease that causes the African sleeping sickness which is an infection to the brain and spinal cord. This disease causes sleeping disturbances and is very deadly. This parasitic disease is transferred through a vector like tsetse fly.
Malaria is also a vector-borne parasitic disease carried by the mosquito. Some symptoms include high fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, and shaking chills. Most often, protists are parasitic and will cause serious diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness.
Did you know that there is estimated to be over 1.5 million species of fungi? Did you also know that the fungi kingdom is more similar to the animal kingdom than the plant kingdom? Interesting, the next couple slides are all about fungi and how fun it can be.
Just like the protista kingdom, fungi are also eukaryotic cells. They can be unicellular or multicellular.
Nutrients and the ecological role of a fungi are very similar. Fungi obtain their nutrients by decomposing dead organisms, and this is why they are needed so much. Fungi decompose dead organisms providing nutrients to the soil around it. This is important as it is their main ecological role.
Most fungi cannot move without the help from other organisms. However, the act of releasing spores into the air is about the only time a fungi would more. Spores are the product of asexual reproduction. These spores are released into the air allowing them to disperse and implant themselves where they land.
This diagram shows how fungi, in the form of a mushroom, can sexually reproduce. Sexual reproduction of fungi often result because of adverse environmental changes. In this process, two haploid cells fuse, later resulting in a diploid zygote nucleus. Once this is done, gametes are produced and they are released in the form of spores.
A common fungus that lurks around is known as Athlete's Foot. This fungal infection can cause rashing and scaling on the host's foot. This fungus thrives in warm and moist environments like showers or swimming pool floors. This is why the fungus is often contracted on the foot. This fungus can grow all around the foot, especially in between the toes, and it is highly contagious.
Fungi is a really important factor in the process of making bread. Yeast is a single celled organism that is used to produce gas that allows the bread to rise when it is baked. This fungus thrives on simple sugars. As the fungus metabolizes the sugar it releases carbon dioxide into the bread allowing it to rise.
All in all, protists and fungi are a vital part of life and provide ample contributions to the environment. Life would not be able to sustain itself without the help from protists and fungi.