Q:

What are characteristics of a plant-like protists?

A:

Quick Answer

Plant-like protists, which are also called green algae, resemble plants in having a cell wall, chlorophyll and the ability to carry out photosynthesis. They are a diverse group of four phyla, but all live in water and have similar mechanisms for movement and reproduction.

Know More
What are characteristics of a plant-like protists?
Credit: photo by Farley Baricuatro (www.colloidfarl.blogspot.com) Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

Green algae are unicellular protists with cell walls and photosynthetic organelles called chloroplasts. Their ability to extract energy from sunlight makes them primarily autotrophic, like plants, but in the dark they can switch over to heterotrophism and begin eating organic material near them. Algae typically have an eyespot, which they use to detect the presence or absence of light, and a true flagellum, which is used to actively propel them through the water. They differ from plants by making use of accessory pigments to absorb light, which gives them a wider range of light frequencies to use for energy than the monochromatic approach of green plants. The accessory pigments also give algal populations a range of colors; a bloom of algae can be green, brown or red. Plant-like protists constitute the base of aquatic food chains and, because of their broad range and high populations, they are responsible for over half of the photosynthesis that takes place on Earth.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis?

    A:

    During photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and water, disassemble the molecules and convert them into sugar and oxygen. The water molecules are split into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen joins carbon dioxide to create sugars. The excess oxygen is released into the atmosphere during the respiration cycle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are characteristics of spirogyra?

    A:

    The genus of spirogyra contains organisms made of green algae that have spiral chloroplast arrangements and primarily live in freshwater environments. All spirogyra have cell walls that are connected in long chains and lack defined branches. Members of this genus undergo haploid-dominant life cycles and have cell walls with two layers instead of just one.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an analogy for the cell wall?

    A:

    A good analogy for the cell wall is a sturdy fence or wall surrounding a castle, protecting the structure from harm and only allowing entrance by outsiders through specified gates and openings. In this scenario, the wall also keeps inhabitants safe inside, preventing them from venturing out into potential danger.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do protists reproduce?

    A:

    Protists are a diverse group of organisms, and they reproduce in a number of different ways, including asexual binary fission, multiple fission, fragmentation and several forms of sexual reproduction. Many protists can reproduce either sexually or asexually depending on environmental conditions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore