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Bacteria and Protists

Nature is full of uncountable number and types of organisms which are varied from each other in many aspects. Bateria and Protists are members of different kingdoms. However, they have few characteristics in common. Bacteria are the most abundant living organisms because of their presence in almost every habitat whether it is the air we breathe in , the water we drink or the food we eat. Protists are a highly diverse group of organisms which are always found in moist habitats. In this topic, we will discuss the differences between bacteria and protists.

What are Bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled (unicellular) organisms having very low level of cellular differentiation.They can either live in the form of a colony or they may live as a single cell. They are prokaryotes. Unlike eukaryotes, they lack a true nucleus as well as mitochondria and other membrane-bound organelles. They only have a circular DNA called plasmid. Bacteria do not reproduce sexually rather they reproduce asexually, most commonly reproduce by binary fission. Bacterial cells vary in shapes, they may be cocci, bacilli, spirilla or vibrios. Some bacteria can move with the help of flagella while others are non-motile. According to common scientific classification, bacteria are classified under the kingdom monera.

What are Protists?

Protists are considered eukaryotes as they possess a membrane-bound nucleus. Protists are mostly unicellular and they contain membrane-bound organelles like chloroplast, mitochondria etc. They are classified in a separate kingdom called Protista as they do not fit into other kingdoms. Some protists are heterotrophic while others are autotrophic. Some possess plant-like characteristics, some possess animal-like while others possess fungus-like characteristics. Cell structure differentiation is of a higher degree in protists than in bacteria.

Difference between Bacteria and Protists



Bacteria are classified under Kingdom Monera Protists are classified under Kingdom Protista
Prokaryotes Eukaryotes
Circular DNA, not associated with histone protein DNA associated with histone protein
Mitochondria absent MItochondria might be present
Cytoskeleton absent Cytoskeleton present
Chloroplasts absent Chloroplasts present in some photosynthetic protists
 Mode of nutrition is autotrophic or heterotrophic  Mode of nutrition is photosynthetic or heterotrophic or a combination of both.
 Found in every environment, moist or dry.  Found only in a moist environment.


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