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Lecture 9

BIO SCI 94 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Paraphyly, Gametophyte, Cytoskeleton

Biological Sciences
Course Code
Robin Bush

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Chapter 30: Protists
Week 4 || Lecture 9 || 2.1.2017
Define protists and explain why protists are
considered a paraphyletic group
- Eukarya: one of the three domains of life, consisting of
- Unicellular organisms: most protists, and also yeasts (fungi)
- Multicellular organisms (fungi, land plants, animals, some algae)
- Distinguished by
- Membrane-bound cell nucleus
- Numerous organelles
- Extensive cytoskeleton
- Protists: eukaryotes that are not Fungi, Land plants or Animals
- Tend to live in environments where they are surrounded by water

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Summarize the ecological and medical importance
of protists
- Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by plasmodium, a parasitic protist
- People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness
- Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die
- In 2013, ~198M cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 500,000 people died,
mostly children in the African region
- About 1500 cases of malaria diagnosed in US each year
- In travelers, immigrants from malaria-high countries
- A single-celled Plasmodium
is far more complex than any of the cells in our own bodies
- Protists include the most elaborate of all cells, cells that carry out the basic functions
performed by all of the specialized cells, tissues, and organs of a multicellular organism
Although Plasmodium
is well studied, researchers have yet to find effective and sustainable
measures to control it
has evolved resistance to drugs used to control its growth

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- Because it evolves so quickly, researchers have been unable to develop a vaccine
against it
-Natural selection has favored mosquitoes that are resistant to the insecticides used to
attempt to control the spread of malaria
Summarize the ecological and medical importance
of protists
- Some protists cause human disease and also crops
- Example: Irish potato famine of 1845, caused by protist Phytophthora infestans
- Protists play a very important role in the global carbon cycle
- Function both as primary producers (autotrophs) and as decomposers and
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