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What are some examples of fungus-like protist?

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Quick Answer

The fungi-like protists of Kingdom Protista comprise a group including slime molds and water molds. These molds are simple, unicellular organisms that are fungi-like in appearance and habitat, according to Cliffs Notes. By ingesting more complex organic matter, they act as decomposers. Like true fungi, they thrive in moist or wet environments.

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Often displaying a slimy appearance for which they are named, there are two primary types of slime molds: cellular and acellular, explains CK12.org. During the feeding stage, both mold types form a mass that propels itself along, ingesting as it goes. Phylum dictyosteliomycota, a cellular protist, retains its cell walls as individual amoebas group together into a slug of protoplasm, while phylum myxomycota, an acellular protist, loses its cell wall, with the amoebas forming a mass with multiple nuclei inside of one cell membrane, called a plasmodium. Both types of molds prefer the damp environment of a rotting log or the forest floor.

Water molds are a separate group of primarily aquatic molds that act as parasites on land. For example, the water mold Phytophthora infestans caused a late potato blight and nearly wiped out the potato crop in mid-19th century Ireland, causing the Irish potato famine. Another water mold, genus Plasmodium, causes malaria in humans.

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