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Protists, UV and Evolution

What are Protists?

Protists are uni-cellular or they're colonial, or they're multi-cellular without tissue. So in other words, a sponge does not count as a protist but there are various kelp and so on that many of us count on. I was mentioning that the people who work on algae also claim the cyanobacteria or blue green algae, although they are not eukaryotes, but you'll also see papers on cyanobacteria or blue-green algae in the phycology journals. The rule of thumb is you call them blue-green algae if you're submitting to Journal of Phycology, which is the study of algae. If you're submitting to the microbiology journal, you call them cyanobacteria.

Protists include protozoa, algae, and some fungi. All eukaryotes are either protists or descendants of protists. Think about this for a second. Protists are not just sort of a bag of things that no one knows what to do with. Protists are a big pot of things that have made it to the eukaryotic grade of construction and a few of them have descendants that we think about today as a multi-cellular organism. To drive this point home, some people say that green algae are plants. I say turn it the other way around; phylogenetically, plants are a small sub group of the green algae.

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