Algal & Fungal Protist



Algal & Fungal-like Protists
Kingdom Protista
All Materials © Cmassengale

Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston


Algal-Like Protists

Characteristics of Algae:

  • Plantlike members of the kingdom Protista
  • Eukaryotes
  • Most unicellular, but some multicellular
  • Autotrophic – contain chlorophyll & make food by photosynthesis
  • Plankton = communities of organisms, mostly microscopic, that drift passively or swim weakly near the surface of oceans, ponds, and lakes
  • Produce oxygen that is returned to the atmosphere
  • Range in size from microscopic to seaweeds hundreds of feet in length
  • Do not have true roots, stems, nor leaves
  • Form gametes (eggs & sperm) in single-celled gametangia (chambers) instead of     multicellular gametangia like true plants
  • Found in freshwater, marine, and moist soil habitats
  • Most have flagella at some time in life cycle
  • Algae cells contain organelles called pyrenoids organelles that make & store starch

Structure of Algal Cells:

  • The body of algae is called the thallus  (1n)
  • Algae may  be unicellular, colonial, filamentous, or multicellular
  • Unicellular algae are single-celled & make up phytoplankton (a population of photosynthetic organisms that begins many aquatic food chains)
  • Phytoplankton make much world’s carbohydrates & are the major producers of oxygen

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  • Colonial algae consist of groups of cells working together
  • Some colonial algal cells may specialize for movement, feeding, or reproduction showing for division of labor 

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  • Filamentous algae have slender, rod-shaped thallus arranged in rows joined end-to-end
  • Holdfasts are specialized structures in some filamentous algae that attaches the algae so it can grow toward sunlight at the surface

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  • Multicellular algae often have a large, complex leaf-like thallus & may have stem-like sections and air bladders
  •  Macrocystis is among the largest multicellular algae

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Reproduction in Unicellular Algae:

Asexual Phase

  • Algae absorbs its flagellum
  • Haploid algal cell then divides mitotically from 2 to 3 times
  • From 4 – 8  haploid flagellated cells called zoospores develop in this parent cell
  • Zoospores break out of the parent cell & eventually grow to full size

Sexual Phase

  • Haploid cells dividing mitotically to produce either “plus” or “minus” gametes
  • A plus gamete and a minus gamete come into contact with one another, shed their cell walls, and fuse to form a diploid zygote
  • This resting stage of a zygote is called a zygospore & an withstand bad environmental conditions
  • When conditions are bad, the thick wall opens and the living zoospore emerges

Life Cycle of Chlamydomonas
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Reproduction in Multicellular Algae:

  • Oedogonium is a multicellular, filamentous green algae with specialized cells called gametangia that form gametes
  • The male gametangia or antheridium makes sperm, & the female gametangia or oogonium makes eggs
  • Sperm are released into the water & swim to the egg to fertilize them
  • The fertilized egg or zygote is released from the oogonium & forms thick-walled zoospores
  • Zoospores undergo meiosis so one cell attaches to the bottom & develops a holdfast while the other zoospores divide & form a filament

Oedogonium Life Cycle
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  • Spirogyra, another filamentous green algae, reproduces by conjugation

spirogyra conjugating.jpg (91550 bytes)

  • Two filaments align side by side, their adjacent cell walls dissolve, & a conjugation tube forms between them
  • Fertilization occurs when a + gamete cell moves through the tube & fuses to the – gamete cell 
  • Zygote forms a thick walled spore (sporangium) that breaks away from the parent & forms a new filament

Spirogyra: conjugation begining.
Conjugation Tube between Spirogyra

  • The leaflike algae Ulva has a sexual reproductive cycle characterized by a pattern called alternation of generations
  •  Alternation of generations has two distinct multicellular phases- a haploid, gamete-producing phase called a gametophyte and a diploid, spore-producing phase called a sporophyte
  • Alternation of Generation also occurs in more complex land plants, but the gametophyte & sporophyte do not resemble each other

Ulva Life cycle
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  • Algae are classified into 7 phyla, based on color, type of chlorophyll, form of food-storage substance, and cell wall composition
  • All phyla contain chlorophyll a
  • All algae live in water or moist areas (ponds, seas, moist soil, ice…)
  • Act as producers making food & oxygen
  • Many species of algae reproduce sexually and asexually
  • Sexual reproduction in algae is often triggered by environmental stress



Phylum Structure of Thallus Pigments Food Storage  Cell Wall composition
(Green Algae)
Chlorophyll a & b Carotenoids Starch Mainly Cellulose
(Brown Algae)
MulticellularChlorophyll a & c Carotenoids Fucoxanthin
Laminarin  Cellulose
(Red Algae)
MulticellularChlorophyll a Phycobilins Carotenoid Starch Cellulose
 Unicellular Some ColonialChlorophyll a & c Carotenoids Xanthophyll Starch
UnicellularChlorophyll a & c Carotenoids Starch Cellulose
(Golden Algae)
 Unicellular Some ColonialChlorophyll a & c
Xanthophyll Carotenoids
Laminarin Cellulose
UnicellularChlorophyll a & b
Carotenoids Xanthophyll
No Cell Wall  Pellicle


 Chlorophyta (green Algae):7000 species

  • May be unicellular, multicellular, or colonial
  • Include Spirogyra, Ulva, & Chlamydomonas
  • Contain chlorophyll a & chlorophyll b and carotenoids (orange & yellow pigments) as accessory pigments
  • Store food as starch
  • Cell walls mainly cellulose, but some marine forms add CaCO3
  • Habitat may be freshwater, moist surfaces, or marine environments
  • Some have whip-like flagella for movement
  • May live symbiotically as lichens
  • Thought to have given rise to terrestrial plants

Phaeophyta (brown algae):1500 species

  • Contain chlorophyll a & chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin (brown pigment) as accessory pigments
  • Most are multicellular growing in cooler marine habitats
  • Include kelps & seaweeds
  • Largest protists
  • Specialized rootlike holdfasts anchor thallus to rocks
  • Specialized air bladders keep leaflike blades afloat near surface to get light for photosynthesis
  • Stemlike structures are called the stipe and support the blades
  • Store food as a carbohydrate called laminarin
  • Include Laminaria & Fucus




  • Macrocystis or giant kelp contains algin in its cell walls which is used in cosmetics, some drugs, ice cream, etc.

Rhodophyta (red algae):4000 species

  • Multicellular algae that mainly grow deep in warm marine waters
  • Some freshwater species exist
  • Highly branched thallus
  • Contain chlorophyll a & phycobilins (red pigments) to trap sunlight for photosynthesis

Polysiphonia (red algae)

  • Store food as starch
  • Cell walls contain cellulose and agar (used as a base in culture dishes to grow microbes)
  • Some species contain carageenan in their cell walls used for gelatin capsules & in some cheeses

Bacillariophyta (diatoms):11,500 species

  • Abundant in marine & freshwater habitats
  • Called phytoplankton & start many aquatic food chains
  • Contain chlorophyll a & c, carotenoids (orange pigments), & xanthophyll (yellow pigments)
  • Store food as starch & contain mainly cellulose in their cell walls
  • Lack cilia & flagella
  • Have glass like shells or valves containing SiO2 that fit together in 2 parts

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  • Centric diatoms are marine & have circular or triangular shells
  • Pennate diatoms are found in freshwater & have rectangular shells
  • When diatoms die, they form a layer called diatomaceous earth that is abrasive and used in detergents, toothpaste, fertilizers, etc.

Dinoflagellata or Pyrrophyta (dinoflagellates):1100 species

  • Major producers in marine habitats
  • Small, unicellular organisms making up plankton
  • Many are photosynthetic, but some are colorless heterotrophs
  • Photosynthetic dinoflagellates are yellow to brown in color due to chlorophyll a & c and carotenoids

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  • Have 2 flagella that spin and move the dinoflagellate through water

  • Store food as starch
  • Some dinoflagellates are covered with armor like plates & spines made of cellulose
  • Often undergo algal blooms where their numbers greatly increase
  • Produce a toxic substance and cause poisonous red tides (water appears red due to red pigments in the dinoflagellates)

Red Tide

  • Some such as Noctiluca can produce light by bioluminescence

Photograph by Robert Brons

Chrysophyta (golden algae)850 Species:

  • Most are live in freshwater habitats, but some are marine
  • Unicellular algae containing chlorophyll a & c and the brown pigment fucoxanthin and carotenoids
  • Many have flagella for movement
  • May be naked or have cellulose cell walls or silica scales or shells
  • May form highly resistant cysts to survive beneath frozen lake surfaces in winter

Euglenophyta1000 Species:

  • Unicellular algae that lack cell walls
  • Have a flexible protein covering called the pellicle
  • Called euglenoids
  • Possess chlorophyll a & b and carotenoids
  • Store food as paramylon (polysaccharide)
  • Most live in freshwater, but some live in moist soil & the digestive tracts of certain animals

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  • Euglena is a common euglenoid found in freshwater
    a. Elastic, transparent pellicle below cell membrane
    b. Contractile vacuole to pump out excess water
    c. Chloroplasts to make food by photosynthesis
    d. Can be heterotrophic in the absence of light 

Fungal-Like Protists

Characteristics of Fungal Protists:

  • Includes cellular slime molds,  plasmodial slime molds, & water molds
  • Unique life cycles with two phases
  • Multicellular, heterotrophic organisms
  • Little tissue specialization
  • Usually small & live in moist or watery habitats
  • Act as decomposers breaking down dead organic matter

Slime molds:

  • Shiny, wet appearance
  • Often brightly colored (yellow or orange) 
  • Have unique life cycles with 2 phases — a mobile feeding stage & a nonmotile reproductive stage

Feeding Stage of Slime Mold
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  • Fungal-like in nutrition (absorptive heterotrophs that break down dead organic matter)
  • May be saprophytes or parasites

Saprophytic Slime Mold

  • Multinucleate body mass
  • May have a mobile, ameba-like feeding stage
  • Make a reproductive structure or fruiting body that produces spores
  • Often found on decaying wood or leaves

some slime mold fruiting bodies
A is Lycogala epidendrum, B is Comatricha typhoides, C is Badhamia utricularia, D is Dictydium

  • Two groups of slime molds exist — Cellular slime molds & Plasmodial slime molds
  • Cellular Slime Molds (Phylum Acrasiomycota)
  • Plasmodial Slime Molds (Phylum Myxomycota)

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Acrasiomycota (Cellular Slime Molds):

  • Alternate in their life cycle between amoeboid feeding stage & spore-producing fruiting body

  • Live in freshwater, moist soil
  • Clump together into masses called pseudoplasmodium whenever little food is available


  • Cells in the pseudoplasmodium are independent but move together “slug-like”
  • Pseudoplasmodium settles & forms fruiting body with spores 
  • Spores spread by wind to new location & form individual amoeboid feeding stage

Myxomycota (Plasmodial Slime Molds):

  • Exist as a plasmodium ( a mass of cytoplasm with many nuclei)
  • Plasmodium creeps along over decaying material 

  • Decomposes & absorbs plant material as food
  • When food is scarce, the plasmodium forms stalked fruiting bodies with spores that are resistant to bad environmental conditions
  • When conditions turn favorable, spores form a new plasmodium

Oomycota (Water Molds):

  • Fungal-like organism made of branching filaments with cell walls of cellulose

Branching Filaments of Water Mold

  • Aquatic water molds are parasites on fish forming furry growths on their gills
  • May act as decomposers in water of dead plants & animals
  • May be pathogenic to plants
    e.g. Phytophthora infestans caused blight in potatoes (Irish Potato Famine in 19th century)
  • Blight in plants decays & discolors stems & leaves 

Blight on Leaves & Potatoes

  • Water molds reproduce sexually & asexually
  • Motile zoospores are asexually produced from reproductive structures called sporangium
  • In sexual reproduction, cells with eggs form tubes to cells with sperm to fertilize & form new branching filaments

Chytridiomycota (Chytrids):

  • Aquatic protists that form gametes & zoospores
  • Most are unicellular or filamentous

  • May be saprophytes (decomposers) or parasites on algae, plants, or insects
  • May be a link between protists & fungi


Antibiotic Resistant Lab

Antibiotic resistance of bacteria

Procedure Using a sterile loop, pick an isolated colony from you bacterial plate. Try to find one that grew well but is all by itself. Move the colony (don’t scoop up the agar) to a new plate. Using a moist, sterile, cotton swab, spread the bacteria around on the plate.

The goal is to get an complete, even, coverage of bacterial growth on the plate (called a “lawn”). Remember to open the plate only minimally, using the lid as an “umbrella” to prevent contamination (see image below). Label each plate on the bottom (agar contaning side) and store it for examination during next week’s lab.Each new prepared plate will receive four paper discs containing antibiotics. We will be using several different types of Antibiotics and/or antimicrobials.

(please fill in which antibiotics you used below)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

The antibiotic discs come in a little tube-like dispenser. To remove the discs take a sterile toothpick and push out a disc into your plate. Use the toothpick to gently press the disc onto the agar. Once you have added the five antibiotic discs to your plates, make sure the plates are labelled and store them in the back of the lab until next week.

If the bacteria are susceptible to the antibiotic a zone of inhibited growth will be evident next week. Measuring the size of this zone is a relative indication of the effect of the antibiotic on the particular bacteria.

Bacteria possess several characteristics that enable them to become resistant to antimicrobial drugs:

  • Asexual reproduction
  • Short generation times
  • High mutation rates

Some Information on Antibiotics


1. Name two ways (1. and 2. ) that common human practices towards antimicrobials aids bacteria in becoming resistant.


2. Name two reasons your Physician will perform cultures such as the ones you have done in this lab.



4. How are materials are collected for cultures?



5. Why is neccesary to use sterile technique when obtaining cultures?


Bacteria Virus Worksheet Bl


Bacteria Worksheet   




Bacterial Cell Evolution

1. Bacteria are microscopic _____________.

2. Fossils evidence shows bacteria are about __________ years old, while eukaryotes are about __________ years old.

3. Discuss where bacteria can be found.


4. Ribosomal differences have put bacteria into what two kingdoms? Which is the older group?


5. What is absent in the cell wall of Archaebacteria? Describe this substance.



6. Describe the environments in which you would find Archaebacteria.



7. Compare & contrast these tree groups of Archaebacteria — methanogens, extreme halophiles, and thermoacidophiles.





8. Most bacteria are found in what kingdom?

9. Name & describe the three shapes of Eubacteria.



10. Are Eubacteria aerobic or anaerobic? Explain.


11. Eubacteria may be heterotrophic or photosynthetic. Explain what this means & give an example of each type.



12. What type of staining is used to group Eubacteria?

13. Describe the appearance of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria under a microscope.


14. Explain why Eubacteria do not all stain the same color during Gram staining.


15. Describe, in detail, cyanobacteria.



16. Cyanobacteria, also known as ______________ bacteria lack a membrane bound __________ & _____________.

17. How are heterocysts helpful to cyanobacteria?


18. What is eutrophication?


19. Explain the role of cyanobacteria in eutrophication.



20. What bacterium causes syphilis? Describe this bacteria.


21. Streptococci bacteria causing strep throat are in what group?

22. Why are actinomycete bacteria important?


23. Compare & contrast these three groups of Proteobacteria — enteric bacteria, chemoautotrophs, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.





24.Name a genus of nitrogen-fixing bacteria found on the roots of soybeans in our area.


Characteristics of Bacteria

25. Name the three main parts of all bacteria.


26. Describe the cell wall of bacteria. How does this differ from a plant cell wall?



27. Compare & contrast the cell membrane of Eubacteria with that of other eukaryotes.



28.Are Gram positive or negative bacteria more protected against antibiotics & why?


29. Where does cell respiration take place in eukaryotes? in bacteria?

30. Describe how the cell membrane of photosynthetic bacteria are adapted for this process. Where does this process take place in plants?



31. Compare & contrast the cytoplasm of bacteria with that of eukaryotes.



32. Describe the DNA (hereditary material) found in bacteria. Make a sketch of what you think this would look like.




33. Where is the capsule of a bacteria, what is it made of, and give two ways it helps a bacterium?



34. Where is the glycoclayx of a bacteria, what is it made of, and how does it help a bacterium?


35. How do pili help the bacteria that have them?


36. How do Gram positive bacteria protect themselves against harsh environments?


37. Describe two methods of locomotion in bacteria.



38. Compare & contrast saprophytic and photoautotrophic bacterial nutrition.



39. Distinguish among these three bacteria & give an example of each — obligate anaerobes, facultative anaerobes, & obligate aerobes.





40. Compare & contrast these three methods of bacterial reproduction — transformation, conjugation, and transduction.




Bacteria and Humans

41. What does a pathologist do for a living?


42. Compare & contrast the two types of toxins bacteria produce.



43. Besides injuring the body by releasing toxins, how else do bacteria hurt the body?


44. Describe four antibiotics against bacteria.




45. Explain how antibiotic resistance occurs.



46. Name two  bacterial diseases carried by ticks.

47. name two bacterial diseases caused by eating contaminated food.

48. Name a sexually transmitted bacterial disease.

49. Name a bacterium that can cause disease whenever it gets into deep wounds.

50. Name a bacterium that is transmitted by coughing & infects the lungs.

51. Describe, in detail, how bacteria can be useful to humans.