Why the World Needs Protists!1


  • 1

    This paper was originally to have been presented as part (the lead-off paper) of the Symposium on “Advances in Protistology,” June 15, 2003, at the Society of Protozoologists Meeting, Gleneden Beach, Oregon. The author, however, was—for medical reasons (a stroke in March 2003, partially incapacitating him physically and mentally)—regretfully unable to attend. For the same reasons, this now published version, with apologies, was delayed in its submission to the Editor. J.O.C.

Corresponding Author: J. O. Corliss—Telephone number: 610-664-4902; FAX number: 610-664-4904; E-mail: jocchezmoi@aol.com


ABSTRACT. In this brief review, literature references are given to researches—involving diverse species of protists—that support the author's firm conviction that the biological world of today absolutely requires the presence of numerous of these generally small and unicelled organisms if it is to survive. Examples supplied come from areas within the field of protistology sensu lato as widely separated as basic phycological research on photosynthesis and protozoological/medical/biomedical investigations on malaria and other pathogens of human beings. Emphasis is primarily on the most relevant works of the past 10—15 years, although historically highly significant papers of older vintage require at least indirect—and occasionally direct—citation.