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Lab 2: Prokaryotes and Protists

Required Taxonomy:
Domain Eubacteria
Phylum Cyanobacteria

Anabaena

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Domain Eukarya
Protista

Volvox
Diatoms
Euglena
Amoeba
Paramecium
Trypanosoma
Plasmodium
Physarum

Prokaryotes, are microscopic, single-celled organism, differ from eukaryotes in that they do
not have a membrane-bound nucleus. Instead of having chromosomal DNA, their genetic
material is arranged in a circular loop called a plasmid, and they reproduce asexually through a
simple cell-splitting process called binary fission. Two Domains among Prokaryotes; Archaea
and Eubacteria.
Archaea live in extremely anaerobic environments and have been called extremophiles.
Different archaeans have been classified as thermophiles (live in environments with
temperatures of 60100C or more!), halophiles (live in extremely salty conditions), acidophiles
(live in acidic environments), and methanogens (methane producers).
Eubacteria (commonly called bacteria) are the most abundant forms of life. They occur in soil,
water, in our food, and in our bodies. They perform many important ecological roles. They
serve as decomposers, agents of fermentation, nutrient recyclers, and aid in our digestion.
One way bacteria are classified is by their shape. For example, rod-shaped cells are termed bacilli (sing. -bacillus); spherical cells are termed -cocci (sing. -coccus); spiral-shaped cells are
termed -spirilli (sing. -spirillum) Diplo- means that the bacterial cells occur in pairs; streptomeans they form chains; staphylo- means the cells form bunches (like grapes). Used together,
a spherical bacterium that occurs in pairs would be called Diplococci.
All eubacteria are classified by Gram staining, involves staining a culture of bacteria with four
liquids: crystal violet, iodine, safranin, and an alcohol wash.
The bacteria that retain the purple colour of the crystal violet stain are Gram-positive. Those
that take on the pink colour from the safranin are Gram-negative.
Cyanobacteria are often (although erroneously) referred to as the blue-green algae.
Cyanobacteria are not true algae, their actually photoautographs, they use solar energy to
make food for themselves.

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Presence of Anabaena affects water quality, as it gives water a bad taste and a foul smell.
Protists are eukaryotic organisms that do not represent as a monophyletic group. Kingdom
Protists no longer considered a formal group. Plant-like protists are commonly referred to
as the algae. They are an extremely diverse group of protists ranging from tiny, unicellular
diatoms to multicellular kelps that can reach lengths of almost 275 m.
Volvox, is a Haploid (n) commonly found in freshwater ponds. Each cell has a pair of flagella
that beat in unison, may reproduce sexually via specialized cells that divide mitotically to
produce sperm packets, which then travel to other colonies to fertilize specialized egg cells when
it reproduces asexually, specialized cells undergo repeated bouts of mitosis in order to produce
smaller spheres known as daughter colonies.
Diatoms are diploid (2n) unicellular protists with silica-based cell walls (frustules) that fit
together like two halves of a petri dish.
Euglena is a unicellular alga found in freshwater. This protist is unusual, because it can
undergo photosynthesis. Each cell is lined with a pellicle (a non-rigid cell wall) and possesses
two flagella: one long and the other short. Euglena is also equipped with a dark eyespot, a
photoreceptor for light detection.
Animal-like protists are found primarily in freshwater and marine environments. Freeliving protists within this group are heterotrophs.
Amoeba is a relatively large single-celled protist that moves by cell crawling using
extensions of the cytoplasm called pseudopodia.
Paramecium possesses two types of nuclei: the macronucleus and the micronucleus, it
participates in an exchange of genetic material with another individual of the opposite mating
type called conjugation. During conjugation, two cells dissolve their cell membranes at the site
where they meet and form a cytoplasmic bridge.
. Trypanosoma is a unicellular parasitic protist with a single anterior (front) flagellum that is
partially attached along the length of the body and has a considerable impact on human health.
Plasmodium is the protist that causes malaria, a unicellular parasitic protist

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