Autotrophic protista

They can perform photosynthesis and mainly consist of unicellular algae. They can be divided into a number of systematic groups according to the shape of their cells and the type of photosynthetic pigments they use.

  • Chrysophyta or golden algae: they live in both sea and freshwater; the most common ones are diatoms, which are equipped with a typical siliceous shell (SiO2), consisting of two parts joined with each other like a box and a lid. The shell is provided with many small holes through which the cell communicates with the external environment. Diatoms usually live near the seabed.
  • Dinoflagellata: they generally live in the sea and are also equipped with a shell, consisting of many cellulose plates. They have two flagella (resembling cilia, only longer) for covering small distances. They are among the most important components of the marine phytoplankton.
  • Euglenida: they live in ponds and lakes. These organisms are provided with chloroplasts (cellular organelles containing chlorophyll, the pigment involved in the photosynthesis) and can therefore perform the photosynthesis; however, without light, they become heterotrophic and start therefore feeding on the organic substances they find in the surrounding environment. Their cell is equipped with two flagella and an eyespot, i.e. a concentration of light-sensitive pigments that allow Protista to move towards light.

 

Special reports

  • 3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

    4 March 2010

    Biotechnological cleaners

    In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are...

    5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

  • 18 December 2020

    The Christmas Star Tradition

    Let's discover together stories and legends about the Christmas Star...

    24 November 2020

    The glow of duck-billed platypuses

    It's easy to answer "which is the strangest animal?". The answer: the platypus. These strange creatures live only in Australia…

    12 October 2020

    Crispr-Cas9, the gene factory

    Nobel 2020. The biochemists Emmanuelle Charpentier, French, and Jennifer A. Doudna, from the United States, were awarded the most important…

  • 10 May 2020

    A virus’s life

    What are viruses Virus is a Latin word meaning poison. Viruses do not eat, breathe, move or reproduce on their…

    29 February 2020

    Let’s find out about viruses

    Parasites at the edge of life Virus is a Latin word meaning poison. Viruses are pathogens (they make you ill)…

    31 October 2019

    What language does science speak? 2nd part

    There is an old proverb that says “the apple does not fall far from the tree ”. Apparently it seems…

  • 3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

    4 March 2010

    Biotechnological cleaners

    In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are...

  • 5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

    18 December 2020

    The Christmas Star Tradition

    Let's discover together stories and legends about the Christmas Star...

  • 24 November 2020

    The glow of duck-billed platypuses

    It's easy to answer "which is the strangest animal?". The answer: the platypus. These strange creatures live only in Australia…

    12 October 2020

    Crispr-Cas9, the gene factory

    Nobel 2020. The biochemists Emmanuelle Charpentier, French, and Jennifer A. Doudna, from the United States, were awarded the most important…

  • 3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

  • 4 March 2010

    Biotechnological cleaners

    In today’s society, more than 80% of human activities are...

  • 5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

From the Multimedia section

  • life

    A zoo in a drop

    Look

    life

    An Autotrophic Flagellate: the Euglena

    Look

    life

    Zooxanthellae

    Look
  • life

    Paramecium

    Look

    life

    The Paramecium

    Look

    life

    Amoeba particular

    Look
  • Haematococcus pluvialis

    Look

    life

    Contractile vacuoles

    Look

    life

    Algae living in heavily polluted

    Look
  • life

    A zoo in a drop

    Look
  • life

    An Autotrophic Flagellate: the Euglena

    Look
  • life

    Zooxanthellae

    Look

Facts