Protista Handout

Phylum: Zoomastigina

Common Name(s): Mastigophora, flagellates

Prominent Characteristics: Most primitive protists; use flagella to move

Common Members: Giardia, Trypanosomes

Significance: intestinal parasite, Common human parasites that cause African sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease

Phylum: Sarcodina

Common Name(s): Sarcodines

Prominent Characteristics: Move like amoebas with the help of pseudopodia; some enclosed in limestone shells

Common Members: Foraminiferans, Radiolarians

Significance: Make limestone deposits from calcium shells; amoebic dysentery

Phylum: Apicomplexa

Common Name(s): Sporozoa

Prominent Characteristics: Nonmotile (not capable of movement); live as parasites inside other organisms, complex life cycle

Common Members: Plasmodium

Significance: Causes malaria

Phylum: Ciliophora

Common Name(s): Ciliates

Prominent Characteristics: Use cilia to move and to sweep food particles into mouth; have anal pores that discharge wastes; contain vacuoles filled with enzymes that digest food

Common Members: Paramecium, Didinium

Significance: Feed on bacteria in ponds, hunter of other protists

Phylum: Euglenophyta

Common Name(s): Euglena

Prominent Characteristics: Photosynthetic, have flagella and eyespot that allows the cell to swim toward light; common in eutrophic lakes and polluted waters

Common Members: Euglena

Significance: Combine plant and animal characteristics

Phylum: Pyrrophyta

Common Name(s): Dinoflagellates

Prominent Characteristics: Have flagella in groove; photosynthetic; some wear a coat of cellulose armor, bioluminescent

Common Members: Gymnodinium

Significance: Cause of red tide; phophorescence in tropical oceans, as phytoplankton important in food chain

Phylum: Chrysophyta

Common Name(s): Golden-brown algae and diatoms

Prominent Characteristics: Have carotenoids; photosynthetic; enclosed in glass shells or calcium carbonate (limestone) shells; have amoeboid traits

Common Members: Dinobryon, Pinnularia, coccolithophorids

Significance: Feed on bacteria; those with glass shells used in toothpaste, silver polish, etc., as phytoplankton important in food chain

Phylum: True slime molds

Common Name(s): True slime molds

Prominent Characteristics: Contain many nuclei in one large cell; eat bacteria and other protists

Common Members: Physarum, Stemonitis

Significance: Break down organic matter on forest floor

Phylum: Cellular slime molds

Common Name(s): Cellular slime molds

Prominent Characteristics: Single cells converge to form a slug, some cells specialize for reproduction

Common Members: Dictyostelium

Significance: Break down organic matter on forest floor