Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Protista'
n : eukaryotic one-celled living organisms distinct from
multicellular plants and animals: protozoa, slime molds,
and eukaryotic algae [syn: division Protista]
- Protista \Pro*tis"ta\, n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. prw`tistos first.]
A provisional group in which are placed a number of low
microscopic organisms of doubtful nature. Some are probably
plants, others animals.
- Protiston \Pro*tis"ton\, n.; pl. Protista. [NL.] (Zo["o]l.)
One of the Protista.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Protista'
Protists (pronounced /ˈproʊtɨst/) are a diverse group of eukaryotic microorganisms. Historically, protists were treated as the kingdom Protista, which includes mostly unicellular organisms that do not fit into the other kingdoms, but this group is contested in modern taxonomy.
The protists do not have much in common besides a relatively simple organization—either they are unicellular, or they are multicellular without specialized tissues. This simple cellular organization distinguishes the protists from other eukaryotes, such as fungi, animals and plants.
The term protista was first used by Ernst Haeckel in 1866. Protists were traditionally subdivided into several groups based on similarities to the "higher" kingdoms: the one-celled animal-like protozoa, the plant-like protophyta (mostly one-celled algae), and the fungus-like slime molds and water molds. Because these groups often overlap, they have been replaced by phylogenetic-based classifications. However, they are still useful as informal names for describing the morphology and ecology of protists.[See more about Protista at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]