Protista - Salena Booker Steven Thompson Biol1010-Section A...

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Salena Booker Steven Thompson Biol1010-Section A April 5, 2011 Protists Structurally, eukaryotes are defined by their membrane bound organelles and the presence of a nucleus. In comparison to prokaryotes, eukaryotic organisms are much larger organisms. Whereas prokaryotes have single, circular genomic material and are haploids, eukaryotes have multiple, linear DNA molecules, defining them as diploids. Besides their cellular structure, eukaryotes are equipped as more complex structures that include animals, plants, and a vague grouping of protists. Overall, the actual classification of eukaryotes has been somewhat undefinitive when it comes to the protists. Once inclusive to their own domain Protista, protists include a diverse group of paraphyletic organisms that do not have differentiated tissues. They exist all over the world, and are primarily found in aqueous environments. Many protists play an important role in the ecosystem. Photosynthetic algae, such as phytoplankton and kelp, provide the vast majority of atmospheric oxygen. Other algae, called dinoflagellates, are responsible for red tide. Some protists can cause serious human illnesses such as malaria, with is caused by plasmodium. However, they are more productive to the environment and are essential component of the environment. Not only do they provide oxygen to the environment but also they are also great decomposers. Most are unicellular organisms, but some do exist as colonial or multicellular organisms.
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Any photosynthetic protist in water is generally defined as algae. They are classified in subgroups based on physical and environmental characteristics. Algae range in size from microscopic organisms like diatoms to giant kelps in the ocean. Algae have relatively simple structures compared to terrestrial plants, as their structure lacks the complex organization of terrestrial plants. However, algae play a huge role in ecology, providing the majority of atmospheric oxygen. Algae vary in pigmentation, distinctively ranging from yellow to gold to green to brown. Dinoflagellates are also an important group of algae that are part of the Alveolata group. They can be found in both marine and freshwater environments are some of the most fascinating algae. Dinoflagellates characteristically have two flagella that are of differing lengths, each providing a different type of movement. Most noted is the whirling-like motion from movement of one of the flagella. Dinoflagellates are not only a .major component of plankton, but they also provide a source of nutrition when housed inside of host animals. Some dinoflagellates are bioluminescent, giving off an intriguing bluish, green glow. Most importantly, dinoflagellates cause red tide in a bloom, which is caused by an increase or overabundance of nutrients. This bloom ultimately and drastically changes the
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Protista - Salena Booker Steven Thompson Biol1010-Section A...

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