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Microprotists in improving crop production

Modern technology has benefited from microprotists in improving crop production by using them as an insecticide, because these protists, which are called microsporidia, cause some diseases to insects that harm crops.

Microprotists in improving crop production

What are protists

Protists are organisms belonging to the kingdom Protista and are mostly single-celled eukaryotes, but sometimes they are multicellular and include most algae, protozoa and some fungi-like organisms. They do not fit into any groups and are classified as sequestered. To reproduce so that they can survive, and protists reproduce either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, and they mostly live in damp and moist surfaces and thrive on nutrients from other organisms, and they are sparse in nature and differ from other organisms. 


Characteristics of protists

Since the kingdom of protists is a diverse kingdom, it is difficult to distinguish it coherently in a simplified way. The organisms that form part of this kingdom are diverse and numerous in terms of physical structure, reproductive capabilities, and nutrition. However, some of the characteristics of protists can be summarized in the following points: 

While some organisms may be unicellular, others may be colonial or multicellular.

Because protists are part of the eukaryotic kingdoms, their organizational structure can vary greatly, eg protists have many organelles that also include a nucleus, mitochondria, plastids, food vacuoles, and flagella.

One of the defining characteristics of protists is that they are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction.

Protists are free-living organisms, but they are also able to live in association with another organism.

The relationship between the first organism and the other organism is either cooperative or parasitic, in a cooperative relationship both benefit from each other, while in a parasitic relationship the first agent derives the benefit through feeding from the host.

Mostly there are two different sides to protists one side is beneficial to humans while the other side harms them in the form of severe life threatening diseases and protists are the basis of the food chain as they form a vital part of the aquatic plankton system.

Protists have similar characteristics of locomotion and immobility, while some protists are mobile where they use cilia, flagella, and pseudopodia as false feet for locomotion, some are also fixed.

Another feature of protists is that they can be autotrophs, i.e. preparing their own food, and heterotrophs, i.e. acquiring external sources of nutrition.


Classification of protists 

Protists are classified on the basis of their feeding habits, locomotion and reproduction patterns, and are classified into three types, which are as follows: 

Primary protists

photosynthetic protists or protist algae

Protists are fungi-like 

Protists: This category falls under the group of parasites that feed on other dead organisms mostly to obtain nutrients. In addition, they are single-celled heterotrophs. Protists can be further classified on the basis of their movement, for example, they are called protists that use cilia to move They are called ciliates and those that use flagella are called flagella, and amoebae are those protozoa that use pseudo-organs to move and protozoa like sporozoa cannot move at all.

Most of the time, protists are parasitic because they make dead organisms their host, and they are expected to live in areas with permanent food supplies because they are unable to gather food themselves.

Photosynthetic protists or algae: This class is the basis of the food chain in the natural, where most organisms in ecosystems depend on organisms such as algae to obtain food and oxygen either directly or indirectly, and they mainly include dinoflagellates, chrysophytes, and euglenoides.

Among the characteristics that distinguish algae is that it is a major photosynthetic factor for living organisms, which makes it the main supplier of oxygen, and although algae are grouped under the category of plant-like protists, they do not contain those parts that help determine whether it was a plant or not, such as roots and stems. and leaves, in addition they are unable to prevent water loss, so they have to inhabit areas with an abundance of water, also the dominant feature which they depict as plant-like is the presence of chlorophyll. 

Fungus-like protists: This class is similar to fungal organisms and comes in distinctive colors and many shapes. Usually, this class lives in damp and murky places. These organisms get their food from the decomposition of decaying organic matter. The most famous examples of this class of protists are Fuligo and Dictydium.


The importance of protists

important to life on Earth

Supplying nutrients to some animals

Recycling nutrients in the environment

Important for life on Earth: Plant-like protists are important for life on Earth because they produce oxygen, and the primary organisms that live in the ocean are plant-like plankton known as algae. These algae are single-celled organisms such as diatoms and flagellates.

These organisms contain chloroplasts in their cells that are similar to plants, which makes them produce oxygen, and studies indicate that at least half and perhaps more of the oxygen on Earth is produced in the ocean by plant organic organisms, these protists contribute to the production of oxygen Along with other plant organisms such as plants and bacteria that can photosynthesize.

Supplying some animals with nutrients: Some other organisms benefit from the symbiotic relationships that arise with protists, for example Dinoflagellates have a symbiotic relationship with coral, where the coral structure lives, and this gives dinoflagellate algae protection and shelter, and corals benefit from the algae that provide the coral organisms and themselves with nutrients.

White coral polyps with hints of green are seen from dinoflagellates on the inside of their symbiotic relationship, as Dinoflagellates lighten the white coral polyps on the inside through a symbiotic relationship.

Recycling of nutrients in the environment: Proteins are not only beneficial to the environment as processors of the nutrient cycle but also beneficial to humans, as protists work in the decomposition cycle and in this way, nutrients are recycled in the environment and the food web for use by other organisms, and some protists are also consumed by humans for food They can even be used as medicine to treat some diseases.

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