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Kingdom Protista

The Kingdom Protista includes a large variety of minute mainly single celled organism including predators, parasites and grazers. They locomote in search of food. Protista are an unusual group of organisms that were put together because don’t belong to any other group. Some protists look or act like plants and some like animals. The Kingdom Protista has distinct groups as they simple eukaryotes which lack nucleus.

Categories of Protists:

For understanding protista better they are divided into the different categories of algae, protozoa and slime molds.

Algae :

microbiologyprotist2They are plant-like structures and they have cell walls. They are treated as autotrophic plants as they prepare their own food. Algae is subdivided according to the color, like red algae, blue green algae, yellow and brown algae euglenoids and flagellates.  They are one of the most important producers in the ocean and lakes.


microbiologyprotist3They are heterotrophic organism as they depend on other animals for food. Protozoan’s are also parasites. The amoeba is the best example of protozoa.  The amoeba is a simple animal consisting of single celled structure.  It feeds on plants, animals and bacteria. It lives in fresh water or seawater usually at the bottom in the mud where there is decaying matter.  A few are found in soil. It constantly changes its shape due to the continual flow of its cytoplasm which can push outwards at any point on the surface to form a pseudopodium. They have special structures called contractile vacuoles to remove excess water that enters by osmosis. They reproduce with the help of  binary fission.


They are unusual microorganisms that resemble protozoa and fungi in their  life cycles. The cellular and  a cellular are the two groups of molds. They live in damp soil and decaying matter.


Protists form a large group of planktons and are important food for fish. The provide food for organism in greater depth when they die.

What is the difference between a protozoa and protist?

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