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Protist

A protist () is any eukaryotic organism that is not an animal, plant or fungus. The protists do not form a natural group, or clade, but are often grouped together for convenience, like algae or invertebrates. In some systems of biological classification, such as the popular five-kingdom scheme proposed by Robert Whittaker in 1969, the protists make up a kingdom called Protista, composed of "organisms which are unicellular or unicellular-colonial and which form no tissues."{{Cite web | url = https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?hl=en&q=whittaker+new+concepts+of+kingdoms&btnG=&as_sdt=1%252C5&as_sdtp= | title = whittaker new concepts of kingdoms – Google Scholar | website = scholar.google.ca | access-date = 2016-02-28 }}{{efn-ua|In the original 4-kingdom model proposed in 1959, Protista included all unicellular microorganisms such as bacteria. Herbert Copeland proposed separate kingdoms – Mychota – for prokaryotes and – Protoctista – for eukaryotes (including fungi) that were neither plants nor animals. Copeland's distinction between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells was eventually critical in Whittaker proposing a final five-kingdom system, even though he resisted it for over a decade.{{cite journal|title=depiction of Whittaker's early four-kingdom system, based on three modes of nutrition and the distinction between unicellular and multicellular body plans|journal=BioScience|volume=62|pages=67|doi=10.1525/bio.2012.62.1.11 |year=2012|last1=Hagen|first1=Joel B.}} }} Besides their relatively simple levels of organization, protists do not necessarily have much in common. When used, the term “protists” is now considered to mean similar-appearing but diverse taxa that are not related through an exclusive common ancestor, and have different life cycles, trophic levels, modes of locomotion, and cellular structures. In the classification system of Lynn Margulis, the term protist is reserved for microscopic organisms, while the more inclusive term Protoctista is applied to a biological kingdom which includes certain large multicellular eukaryotes, such as kelp, red algae and slime molds.{{Cite book | url = https://books.google.com/books?id=9IWaqAOGyt4C | title = Kingdoms and Domains: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth | last = Margulis | first = Lynn | last2 = Chapman | first2 = Michael J. | date = 2009-03-19 | publisher = Academic Press | isbn = 9780080920146 | language = en }} Others use the term protist more broadly, to encompass both microbial eukaryotes and macroscopic organisms that do not fit into the other traditional kingdoms. In cladistic systems, there are no equivalents to the taxa Protista or Protoctista, both terms referring to a paraphyletic group which spans the entire eukaryotic tree of life. In cladistic classification, the contents of Protista are distributed among various supergroups ( SAR, Archaeplastida, Excavata, Opisthokonta, etc.) and "Protista", Protoctista and " Protozoa" are considered obsolete. However, the term "protist" continues to be used informally as a catch-all term for eukaryotic microorganisms. For example, the phrase "protist pathogen" may be used to denote any disease-causing microbe which is not bacteria, virus, viroid or metazoa.

Subdivisions

The term protista was first used by Ernst Haeckel in 1866. Protists were traditionally subdivided into several groups based on similarities to the "higher" kingdoms such as: Protozoa the unicellular "animal-like" ( heterotrophic/ parasitic) protozoa which was further sub-divided based on motility such as ( flagellated) , ( ciliated) Ciliophora, ( phagocytic) amoeba and spore-forming Sporozoans Protophyta the "plant-like" ( autotrophic) protophyta (mostly unicellular algae) Molds the "fungus-like" ( saprophytic) slime molds and water molds. Some protists, sometimes called ambiregnal protists, have been considered to be both protozoa and algae or fungi (e.g., slime molds and flagellated algae), and names for these have been published under either or both of the ICN and the ICZN.Barnes, Richard Stephen Kent (2001). The Invertebrates: A Synthesis. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 41. . Conflicts, such as these – for example the dual-classification of Euglenids and Dinobryons, which are mixotrophic – is an example of why the kingdom Protista was adopted. These traditional subdivisions, largely based on superficial commonalities, have been replaced by classifications based on phylogenetics ( evolutionary relatedness among organisms). Molecular analyses in modern taxonomy have been used to redistribute former members of this group into diverse and sometimes distantly related phyla. For instance, the water molds are now considered to be closely related to photosynthetic organisms such as Brown algae and Diatoms, the slime molds are grouped mainly under Amoebozoa, and the Amoebozoa itself includes only a subset of "Amoeba" group, and significant number of erstwhile "Amoeboid" genera are distributed among Rhizarians and other Phyla. However, the older terms are still used as informal names to describe the morphology and ecology of various protists. For example, the term protozoa is used to refer to heterotrophic species of protists that do not form filaments.

Classification

Historical classifications

Among the pioneers in the study of the protists, which were almost ignored by Linnaeus except for some genera (e.g., Vorticella, Chaos, Volvox, Corallina, Conferva, Ulva, Chara, Fucus)Ratcliff, Marc J. (2009). "The Emergence of the Systematics of Infusoria". In: The Quest for the Invisible: Microscopy in the Enlightenment. Aldershot: Ashgate.Sharma, O. P. (1986). Textbook of Algae. McGraw Hill. p. 22. were Leeuwenhoek, O. F. Müller, C. G. Ehrenberg and Félix Dujardin.Fauré-Frémiet, E. & Théodoridès, J. (1972). État des connaissances sur la structure des Protozoaires avant la formulation de la Théorie cellulaire. Revue d'histoire des sciences, 27–44. The first groups used to classify microscopic organism were the Animalcules and the Infusoria.The Flagellates. Unity, diversity and evolution. Ed.: Barry S. C. Leadbeater and J. C. Green Taylor and Francis, London 2000, p. 3. In 1817, the German naturalist Georg August Goldfuss introduced the word Protozoa to refer to organisms such as ciliates and corals. After the cell theory of Schwann and Schleiden (1838–39), this group was modified in 1848 by Carl von Siebold to include only animal-like unicellular organisms, such as foraminifera and amoebae. The formal taxonomic category Protoctista was first proposed in the early 1860s by John Hogg, who argued that the protists should include what he saw as primitive unicellular forms of both plants and animals. He defined the Protoctista as a "fourth kingdom of nature", in addition to the then-traditional kingdoms of plants, animals and minerals. The kingdom of minerals was later removed from taxonomy in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel, leaving plants, animals, and the protists (Protista), defined as a “kingdom of primitive forms”. In 1938, Herbert Copeland resurrected Hogg's label, arguing that Haeckel's term Protista included anucleated microbes such as bacteria, which the term "Protoctista" (literally meaning "first established beings") did not. In contrast, Copeland's term included nucleated eukaryotes such as diatoms, green algae and fungi. This classification was the basis for Whittaker's later definition of Fungi, Animalia, Plantae and Protista as the four kingdoms of life. The kingdom Protista was later modified to separate prokaryotes into the separate kingdom of Monera, leaving the protists as a group of eukaryotic microorganisms. These five kingdoms remained the accepted classification until the development of molecular phylogenetics in the late 20th century, when it became apparent that neither protists nor monera were single groups of related organisms (they were not monophyletic groups).

Modern classifications

Many systematists today do not treat Protista as a formal taxon, but the term "protist" is still commonly used for convenience in two ways. The most popular contemporary definition is a phylogenetic one, that identifies a paraphyletic group: a protist is any eukaryote that is not an animal, (land) plant, or (true) fungus; this definition excludes many unicellular groups, like the Microsporidia (fungi), many Chytridiomycetes (fungi), and yeasts (fungi), and also a non-unicellular group included in Protista in the past, the Myxozoa (animal).
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This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protist, the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Protist&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany