Learning Objectives
After reading this, you should be able to:
1) List the major phyla of kingdoms protoctista and fungi and deactive their major characteristics.

2) Outline the major divisions and classes of kingdom plantae.

The kingdom protoctista is divided into nine phyla. These are Rhizopoda, Zoomastigina, Apicomplexa, Ciliophora, Euglenophyta, Oomycota, Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta and Phaeophyta.

    These are mostly unicellular and are found in both aquatic and damp environments. They move and feed by means of pseudopodia (false feet). They posses one nucleus and reproduce asexually by binary fission. Generally, they are either heterotrophic or parasitic and possess variable shapes. Examples: Amoeba; Polystomella.

They are unicellular organisms which possess one or more flagella for movement. They have a definite shape and their cells are covered by an outer covering called pellicle. They are either heterotrophic or mostly parasitic.They reproduce asexually by longitudinal binary fission. They are found mainly in the alimentary canal and blood streams of higher animals. Examples include: Trypanosome (organism which causes sleeping sickness) Trichomonas.

Phylum:  Apicomplexa (Sporozoans)
They possess a pellicle giving the cell a definite shape. They have no external locomotory structures. They produce spore both in sexual and asexual reproduction. They are mostly parasitic and live in cells or body fluids of animals, eg. Blood. The cell contains one nucleus, example: Plasmodium.

Phylum: Ciliophora
They are found either in marine or freshwater habitat They have cilia for locomotion and feeding. They possess both meganucleus and micronucleus. They exhibit both sexual and asexual means of reproduction, by conjugation and transverse binary fission respectively Examples include: Paramecium; Uorticella.

Phylum: Euglenophyta (Euglenoid Flagellates)
       They possess eye spot and contractile vacuoles. They contain chlorophyll and therefore can photosynthesize. They have a covering of a pellicle instead of cellulose cell wall. The euglenoid flagellates are flagellated and can locomote or move. They store carbohydrates in the cell. E.g. Euglena.

Phylum: Oomycota (Oomycete)
        They have cellulose cell walls., They have nonseptate hypha (have no cross-walls). They reproduce asexually by means of biflagellated zoospores produced in sporangia. Sexual reproduction is by fertilization involving male and female gametangia. E.g. Phytophthora which causes rotting of cocoa pods and blight 0f potato.

     They are unicellular, colonial or filamentous forms. Their bodies are thallus and nonvascular (lack true stem, root and leaves). They possess the green pigment, chlorophyll for photosynthesis. Examples of the various forms: Unicellular and non-mobile eg. Chlorella flagellated . forms eg. Chalamydomonas;. filamentous forms eg. Spirogyra.

Phylum: Rhodophyta (Red Algae)
    They are mostly marine with very few fresh water species. Most are thalloid and few are filamentous. The thalloid forms branch profusely. They have both red and green Pigment for photosynthesis. However, the red pigment masks the green colour of chlorophyll . hence, their red colour. Examples include Plumania and Galaxaura.

Phylum: Phaeophyta (brown algae)    
     They may be thalloid or filamentous or flattened. They do not possess true roots, stems and leaves. The body is differentiated into hold fast for clinging to rock and flat slippery leaf-like fronds. Hold fast could be in the form of rhizoid, hairs or knobs. There is dichotomous branching, the brown pigment overshadows the green colour of chlorophyll therefore, they look brown. Examples include Fucus. Sp and Sargassum sp.

Major Phyla of Kingdom Fungi
There are three main phyla in the kingdom Fungi. These are Zygomycota; Ascomycota and Basidiomycota.

Phylum: Zygomycota (Zygomycetes)
Some are unicellular whiles others are filamentous ' with non-septate hyphae and haploid mycelium. They produce asexually by forming sporangia and sexually by gametangia resulting in the formation of a zygospore. They possess large well-developed branching mycelium. e.g. Rhizopus; Mucor; Bread mould.

Phylum: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
     They don’t form sporangia. They possess septate hyphae (have cross-walls).  They possess distinctive reproductive structures called ascus which contains the ascospores during sexual reproduction. They reproduce asexually by conidia formed in chains. e.g. Saccharomyces (yeast), Xylaria Neurespora and penicillium.

Phylum: basidiomycota (basidiomy cetes)
They possess septate hypha. They reproduce sexually by the production of basidia which bears spores called basidiospore. Each member of this phylum consists of a stalk that bears a dome-shaped cap. They cause serious diseases in crops e.g. maize rust disease. Typical species. of this phylum include: Toadstool; Bracket fungi; (Agaricus) Mushroom, etc.

Are You Sure You've Understood What You've Just Read?
To Make Sure You've Understood, Answer The Questions Below;

1. Outline the major phyla of the kingdom Fungi.

2. List the major phyla of the kingdom Protoctista.

3. List four differences between protoctist and  fungi.

4. Give three reasons why Paramecium and Euglena are placed under the same kingdom.

5. Write down three characteristics each of the following groups of organisms and give one example of each.
i. Sporozoans.
ii. Flagellates.
iii. Ciliates.
iv. Green algae.

6. List the four characteristic features common to brown algae.

7. To which phyla of fungi does each of following belong?
i. Rhizopus.
ii. Yeast.
iii. Mushroom.


  1. Under the phylum Oomycota, there is a typo. It's Phytophthora not Phytophtora.


Post a Comment