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3. Monera Kingdom, Protista

Kingdom and Fungi Kingdom

1. Monera Kingdom
The Monera kingdom contains unicellular, microscopic, prokaryotic organisms.
They do not have an organised nucleus.
The Monera kingdom includes bacteria and cyanobacteria or blue-green algae.

1.1 How does a bacterium look like?

A bacterium is a unicellular
prokaryote. It has a cell
membrane surrounded by a
protective cover, the cell wall.
In some bacteria, another
layer called the capsule
surrounds the cell wall. The
genetic material (DNA) is
not contained in a nucleus,
but dispersed throughout the

1.2 Bacteria Nutrition

Bacteria can be either autotrophs (they make their own food) or heterotrophs
(they do not make their own food):
Autotrophic bacteria produce organic material (nutrients) from inorganic
material. They obtain energy from the light of the Sun (photosynthesis).
Heterotrophic bacteria feed on organic material and include the majority
of bacteria.
Depending on where they obtain their nutrients (organic material), these
bacteria can be:
Saprophytes. These live on decomposing organic material and
transform it into inorganic material (mineral salts). Plants use this
inorganic material to make new organic material.
Symbionts. These live in association with other organisms, so that both
organisms benefit.
Parasites. These live on plants or animals, and cause many illnesses.

1.3 Types of bacteria

Bacteria can be classified according to their external shape:

Cocci: They are spherical.

Bacilli: They are elongated.

Spirillum: They have spiral


Vibrions: They have comma

2. Bacteria and humans

2.1 Industrial use of bacteria

Many bacteria are beneficial because they are used in industrial processes.
In the food industry, bacteria are used to make yoghurts and to turn wine into
vinegar. They are also used in waste elimination and water treatment. In medicine,
bacteria are used to make antibiotics and hormones.

2.2 Illnesses caused by bacteria

The majority of bacteria are harmless, but some species are harmful to humans or
other living things.
Bacteria can cause damage directly or through the products they secrete, such as
Some examples of bacteria infections are:
Tuberculosis. This is transmitted through droplets of saliva that are spread
through coughing, sneezing or sharing utensils.
Gastroenteritis. Intestinal infections may be caused by ingesting food
contaminated by bacteria or their toxins.
Botulism. This is a disease caused by consuming infected canned food.
Botulism may cause serious disorders and even death.

3. Protista Kingdom
The protista kingdom includes unicellular and multicellular living things. They are
all eukaryotes and have no tissues. Protozoa and algae are found in this kingdom.

3.1 Protozoa
Protozoa are unicellular organisms that live in acquatic or humid mediums.
They can be classified according to their movement:
By cilia (short delicate organelles). For example, paramecia use cilia to
By flagella (longer than cilia). For example, trypanosomes use a long, thin
flagellum to move.
By pseudopodia (false feet). For example, amoebas move around by means
of pseudopods.
Others, such as plasmodia, are immobile.


Protozoa are also classified according to their diet:
Parasitic protozoa absorb food from the organism in which they live. They
can cause serious illnesses in humans and animals.
Free-living protozoa ingest bacteria or other protozoa in their
surroundings. They are often found in stagnant water.

3.2 Algae

The main characteristics of algae are:

Unicellular or multicellular. Unicellular algae sometimes form colonies.
Each cell can carry out the vital functions. All the cells of multicellular algae
look the same and have the same functions. Therefore, algae have no true
tissues or organs.
Autotrophs. They contain chlorophyll and other pigments that capture
sunlight for photosynthesis. Their pigment can classify them into: green,
brown, or red.
Some live in salt and fresh water, but others, like diatomea, float on water
forming phytoplacton, and are food for aquatic animals.

Algae provide food for humans too, for example, ice cream is made from algae.
Industrial uses include medicine and fertilisers.

Algae groups:




4. What are viruses?

Viruses are not cells, so they are not living things. They cannot carry out any vital
functions by themselves. They infect living cells, and they can reproduce. They are
always obligate parasites: as a result they cannot live independently of their host.

4.1 What is a virus like?

The main characteristics of viruses are:
Extremely small. They can only be seen
through an electron microscope.
Unable to move. They do not have any
mechanism of movement.
Extensive habitat. They are found on the
ground, in the air and in the water.

5. Fungi kingdom
5.1 Fungi
Fungi are heterotrophic organisms (parasites or saprophytes) that have many
different unicellular and multicellular forms:
Mushrooms, which grow in forests and fields.
Moulds, which grow on food, the skin of humans or animals, or in humid
Yeasts, which are used for making bread and bakery products, wine and
Fungi structure
Fungi are made up of branched filaments called hyphae. Collectively they are
known as the mycelium.
Hyphae carry out nutrition and reproduction in fungi:
Nutritional function. Hyphae penetrate the ground to absorb food.
Reproductive function. Hyphae grow outwards and swell to form sporangia.
The sporangia produces spores, reproductive cells that will fall to the
ground and develop to form new hyphae and a new mycelium.

5.2 Lichens
If you observe carefully a rock or a tree, usually you will recognize some round
spots with different colours. Although they do not look like living things, they are
Lichens are Symbiont organisms with two different individuals, so we cannot say
that they are fungi or algae.
Lichens are an association between a fungus and an alga they benefit each other.
Fungus protects and humidify to the alga, and alga perform photosynthesis in
order to feed themselves and to fungus.

What do lichens look like?

We can describe three types of lichens:
1. Crustose or crusty lichens: They are closely attached to the place where
they live. It is hard to remove without damaging substrate or lichen.
2. Foliose or leafy lichens: They have circular growth and they look like
3. Fructicose or shrubby lichens: They are shrub-like small mounds, growing
up from the ground, or beard-like small webs hanging down.