Plant-like protists can be single-celled or multicellular and they can live in a wide range of environments. Most are able carry out photosynthesis (like plants).
There are several groups of plant-like protists, let's take a look at each.
|Euglenoids - named for the genus Euglena, these organisms can glide or swim using a flagella. Many euglenoids are photosynthetic, a few are heterotrophic.|
|Dinoflagellates - the dinoflagellates have two flagella, and maybe bioluminescent. They have stiff protective plates, and are known for causing red tides. Most are marine species, but there are a few that live in freshwater environments. Take the time to read about red tides, and bioluminescence.||
|Diatoms - plantlike protists with glasslike shells. The shells are made of silica. These protists produce large amounts of oxygen.||
|Green algae - multicellular protists, that are not considered plants because they lack roots, stems and leaves. Contains both chlorophyll a and b. They also have cell walls made of cellulose.||
|Brown algae - multicellular protists, this includes Kelp, contains chlorophyll c (similar to diatoms)||
|Red algae - multicellular, contains chlorophyll a. The pigment comes from phyocoerythrin, not the chlorophyll||
Watch the Plant Protists video.
Most plant like protists can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Watch the video on Sexual Reproduction in Unicellular Protists. Then go to the Reproduction: Protists and Fungi page, and read through the introduction, clikc on Compare these sexual cycles to test your knowledge and understanding.