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Difference Between Monera and Protista

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Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Overview of Monera and Protista

Both Monera and Protista are kingdoms that are acknowledged during the classification of living organisms on earth. In simple words, Monera comprises archaebacteria, eubacteria and cyanobacteria, whereas Protista includes algae, protozoans and moulds.

Even though they include unicellular organisms, they are quite different from one another. For instance, the primary difference between Monera and Protista is – unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes are classified under the kingdom Protista. On the other hand, unicellular prokaryotes are classified under the domain of Monera.

Read along, to find out other essential differences between Protista and Monera below!

 

What is Monera?

This kingdom contains unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms which are considered to be the least organised.  The organisms of this kingdom play a crucial role in the carbon cycle and nitrogen and are metabolically diverse because of the use of substrates like carbon and energy. 

With the fact being that Monera is prokaryotic, these do not come with a membrane-bound organelle like a nucleus. Nonetheless, their cell wall is rigid and is composed of peptidoglycan.

Monera reproduces asexually through the process of fragmentation, binary fission and budding. Furthermore, horizontal gene transfer is also rampant in them.

Also, they serve as mineralises and decomposers in the environment which show a different mode of nutrition. The following are some of the most important uses of bacteria, Monera.

  • Widely used for the process of fermentation.

  • Used in the process of bioremediation.

  • Facilitates the mechanism of pest control.

  • They are extensively used in the preparation of medicines. 

The kingdom of Monera is divided under a three-domain system of taxonomy, given by Carl Woese in 1977, reflecting the evolutionary history of life. Domains of the kingdom Monera include cyanobacteria, archaebacteria and eubacteria. Let us discuss these classifications (Domains) of the kingdom Monera further in detail.

Cyanobacteria: This branch is called blue-green algae, the organisms of the monera kingdom, who can photosynthesize their food and are included in this classification of monera kingdom. They are usually found in the aquatic region and some of them are even able to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Nostoc and Anabaena are some organisms from this classification.

Archaebacteria: Archaebacteria are considered the most primitive or ancient kind of bacteria in existence today and are found in habitats with the harshest set of climate conditions, they are also abundantly found in aquatic habitats. There are mainly three types of Archaebacteria, which are - halophiles, thermophiles, and methanogens. The structure of their cell walls is very different and helps them survive in harsh climate conditions.

Eubacteria: These organisms are considered the “true Bacteria”. They have a rigid cell, made up of peptidoglycans and murine (a kind of carbohydrates), for protection and also have flagella for locomotion. They are found nearly everywhere, on soil, in water, on the body of large organisms or inside large organisms (For example:- Many bacteria live inside the human digestive tract)

 

What is Protista? 

This kingdom contains organisms that are considered to be the second least organised.  Essentially, Protista is a eukaryote and can be either a multicellular or unicellular organism. 

Being eukaryotes, they come to have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Notably, the metabolism of Protista is dependent upon the type they belong to. 

Typically, their nucleus has multiple DNA strands. They depend on mitochondria for cellular respiration while some of them also possess chloroplast, which is useful for photosynthesis. 

They reproduce sexually by producing gametes while in the organism sexual reproduction, they multiply through binary fission. The majority have an array of uses, and some of them are as follows –

  • They serve as a source of medicine.

  • Aids biological research.

  • They are also used as edibles.

  • Serve as a source of mineral and commercial products.

Algae, moulds and protozoans are among the distinctive domains of Protista. Let us discuss these classifications in detail: 

Algae: Algae forms the foundation of the food chain. Majority of organisms depend on various kinds of algae for their food and oxygen requirements, directly or indirectly. These organisms contribute the dominant share of world oxygen supply, by the process of Photosynthesis. They contribute more oxygen than the plants do. Moulds (Water moulds and Slime moulds): This classification of Protista, is considered the first step in the development of fungi, due to their resemblance with them. They scavenge on dead plant material or dead organisms to fulfill their nutrient requirement and are found in the damp and murky places

Protozoans: The meaning of the word “Protozoans” in Latin, is “first animals”. Protozoans are mainly parasitic and hence feed on the dead matter for nutrients. They are heterotrophic and unicellular organisms. Amoeba is a famous example of this classification. There are several aspects about Monera and Protista which set them apart from each other. The table below highlights some of the most significant ones in brief. 

 

Difference Between Monera and Protista

S.N. 

Parameter

Monera

Protista 

1

Cell level

Monera comprises unicellular microorganisms.

Protista comprises both unicellular and multicellular organisms.

2

Cell organelles

Does not contain membrane-bound organelles.

Consists of membrane organelles including plastids, Golgi apparatus, etc.

3

Structure complexity

These organisms have a simple structure.

These organisms have a complex structure. 

4

Classification 

The kingdom includes cyanobacteria, bacteria and archaebacteria.

The kingdom includes diatoms, algae, protozoans and diatoms.

5

Size

Smaller than Protista as they contain small microorganisms. 

Relatively larger than Monera as they contain larger organisms.

6

Cell wall

The cell wall is not well-defined.

The cell wall is present and well-defined.

7

Habitat

They are found everywhere.

They are found in moist and shady places and aquatic regions.

8

Nucleus

The actual nucleus is absent in Monera.

The nucleus is attached to the nuclear membrane in Protista. 

9

Flagella, Pseudopodia and cilia

Most of them do not contain cilia, pseudopodia or flagella.

They facilitate locomotion in Protista. 

10

Reproduction 

Monera reproduces asexually through budding or binary fission.

Protista reproduces both sexually and asexually.

11

Mode of nutrition 

They are either heterotrophic or autotrophic.

They can be holozoic, photosynthetic or parasitic.

12

Mode of respiration 

Cellular respiration occurs aerobically or through fermentation.

Cellular respiration occurs aerobically. 

13

Examples

Sphorobacter, bacillus, mycobacteria, etc. 

Green algae, red algae, euglena, etc.

Hence, it can be seen that differences between them are not just limited to the classification of Monera and Protista. A subtle distinction exists between the two in almost all vital aspects. 

Furthermore, Protists are considered to be a predecessor of eukaryotes; however, they are different from the category of plants, animals and even fungi. 

Other than that both Monera and Protista are considered crucial not just for biology, but also for economics.

 

Boost your NEET 2024 Preparation!

As the NEET 2024 exam inches closer, the level of anxiety and pressure is bound to increase too. However, the key to emerging successful in these entrance exams is to maintain a calm composure and to use the last moments of these revision days smartly.


Additionally, prioritise important topics like Monera and Protista and make sure to cover almost all important concepts in detail. Furthermore, incorporate charts, tables and diagrams in your study plan to remember essential features easily.

For instance, a table highlighting the difference between monera and Protista will make revision quick and effective.

So, keep calm and revise smartly. Good luck!

FAQs on Difference Between Monera and Protista

1. What are some examples of Monera and Protista?

Monera is the most primitive group of organisms and mostly contains unicellular organisms. Even being the most primitive group, It is the most abundant group in terms of sheer numbers. Protista also contains unicellular organisms but they are eukaryotic, not prokaryotic like monera.


The most common Monera are bacillus, halobacterium, mycobacteria, sporohal pobacter and clostridium. On the other hand, green algae, slime moulds, water moulds, red algae and euglena are popular examples of Protista. 

2. What are the basic differences between Protista and Monera?

The basic difference between them is - Monera is unicellular and prokaryotic cellular structures, whereas Protista is unicellular and eukaryotic cellular structures. Cell organelles are absent in Monera, but Protista is well-defined and has membrane-bound organelles. Monera is said to be found in any part of the earth and is the most abundant, while Protista is found in moist, shady places and an aquatic environment. Monera does not even have a well-defined nucleus, while Protista has its nucleus attached to its membrane.


Monera is said to be the most ancient group of species and the kingdom of Protista forms a link between the other three kingdoms of fungi, plants, and animals.

3. How do Monera and Protista respire?

In Monera, cellular respiration occurs in 2 ways - fermentation and aerobic respiration, most species in the monera kingdom are either obligate aerobes or obligate anaerobes and some are facultative anaerobes. On the other hand, in the case of Protista, this process of respiration is aerobic and is dependent on mitochondria. Protista might also have chloroplast for photosynthesis (a kind of cellular respiration). But in some cases, like if the protists are parasitic, or if they are living in the moist soil under a pond, they don’t require oxygen all the time and are classified as facultative anaerobes.

4. How do Monera and Protista reproduce?

Monera tends to reproduce asexually through the process of binary fission, fragmentation and budding, but still, some exceptional species reproduce sexually with the methods of conjugation and transduction, some of these prokaryotic species even use the method of transformation for sexual reproduction. On the other hand, Protista usually reproduces either sexually by producing gametes or asexually through the process of binary fission. Students can know more about the organisms of these two kingdoms of living beings, - Monera and Protista, with the help of study material provided by Vedantu.

5. What is the economic importance of these two kingdoms, Monera and Protista?

Both Monera and Protista hold a significant amount of economic importance in today’s world. Let us discuss their economic importance or usage in detail - 

Economic Usage of Monera (Bacteria):-

  • It is important in the fermentation process in various industries.

  • Used as pesticides in various areas for pest control.

  • Used for the process of Bioremediation.

  • It is also widely used in the preparation of various medicines.

  • Therapeutic proteins are made using organisms from the Monera kingdom.

Economic Usage of Protista:- 

  • Organisms of the Protista Kingdom are an important source of many medicines, like - blood coagulants.

  • They are also used as food in many regions.

  • They are also a good enough source of minerals.

  • Antiseptics and agar are also produced with their help.

  • They are also very helpful in biological studies.