1 June 2023

Protozoology is a branch of microbiology that deals with study the organism of microscopic size known as Protozoan from its evolution, taxonomy, physiology and structure. Its etymology comes from the Greek words proto (first) and zoo (animal).

meaning of protozoology

This science is significant because it seeks to glimpse knowledge about these parasites to understand their behavior. Since the protozoa They are found in all kinds of habitats. either in fresh or salt water, and also from the ground to the bodies of other animals.

Of note, many are harmless, although several cause serious illness. As examples, the main ones can be named: malaria, dysentery, sleeping sickness, amoebiasis and toxoplasmosis. But if it is worth noting that the study of protozoa It is of great value because they produce 90% of diseases in the world, mainly affecting tropical and intertropical zones.

What does protozoology study?

Protozoology studies single-celled eukaryotic organisms, such as protozoa. Protozoologists study the ecology and physiology of these organisms to better understand their role in the environment. a protozoan is an organism of microscopic size made up of a single cell or a group of identical cells. These commonly reproduce asexually, although there are exceptions with some reproducing sexually.

Some animal-like protozoa or protists are parasitic and others are free-living. They are found in water and in environments with certain levels of humidity and can be sensitive to a lack of oxygen. They vary from 2 micrometers to 2 millimeters like the Gromia sphaerica with a variety of shapes (spherical, oval, spiral and crescent), several are mobile and can move by means of flagella, cilia or pseudopods.

They are very diverse and science currently records more than 30,000 different species, although the most common are: Paramecium, Giardia, Amoeba and Trichomona. They are included in the subkingdom Protozoa. and they make up the oldest organisms that exist. Most of them are unicellular with a cytoplasm separated from the outside and from the nucleus by membranes (plasma and nuclear).

These organisms are too small to be seen with the naked eye, so it is necessary to study them through a microscope and from there their discovery dates back. They play an important role in food and nutrient cycling and are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth.

This science studies its biology to control or prevent the diseases it causes, although it is always worth noting that many protozoa are harmless. Protozoology has determined in its studies that protozoa are a diverse group of organisms that have been classified into different types: rhizopods, flagellates, ciliates and sporozoans.

What is protozoology botany?

Protozoology can be applied in valuable ways to botany, veterinary medicine, petrochemistry, biotechnology, and medicine. Because protozoa cause disease and alter people, plants and animals.

What is the goal of protozoology?

The objective of protozoology is to study the presence of protozoa. In order to fully understand the causes of diseases that affect humans and implement measures to control and prevent diseases transmitted by this parasite. Likewise, it seeks to generate knowledge about the life cycle and interaction with individuals of the same species and others.

Who is the father of protozoology and what is his story?

At the end of the 17th century, this science began to become visible thanks to the Dutch Antony van Leeuwenhoek of Delft (1632-1723) who first observed protozoa thanks to the advances he made in the Microscope. It is interesting to know that this scientist specialized in the natural world sculpted his own lenses and built simple microscopes with which he managed to obtain up to 270 magnifications.

The first methodical description of protozoan organisms was made by the Danish scientist OF Müller, in 1786 and in 1818, Georg Goldfuss proposed the term protozoan for group together single-celled organisms considered by him as primeval. Between 1880 – 1889 Otto Bütschli published three copies on the Protozoa earning the qualification of architect of protozoology by giving structure to modern protozoology.

In 1947 the first journal related to protozoology was founded in Germany; Archive für Protistenkunde. The Society of Protozoology was also born in the city of Chicago, USA, and the First International Congress of Protozoology was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1961. At the beginning of the 20th century Microscopes begin to be perfected which generated an increase in the number of known microorganisms and allowed to extend the knowledge about this group of organisms.

But in the middle of the 20th century another important event arose that marked the advances in these studies. The creation, transformation and mass use of electronic microscopes, prompted leaps and bounds in the study of the protozoa. In addition, I help consolidate Protozoology as a branch of research. This is how it has been evolving up to the present and great and outstanding discoveries have been made about these organisms, benefiting human beings with these investigations.

What is the importance of protozoology?

Protozoology is important because in it lies the study of protists. It is considered an integrative science, which addresses basic research in the areas of taxonomy, systematics, evolution, physiology, ecology, molecular biology, cell biology, among others, which makes its development vital.

It is also important because it is responsible for understanding the biology of protozoa. In order to control or prevent the diseases they produce. Its applications are diverse, due to the contributions in different scientific branches such as botany and medicine.

Studying protozoa is important for many reasons, another of which is that they are a source of food for other animals, such as fish, amphibians, and birds. They also help recycle nutrients and keep ecosystems healthy and can be used to control pests.

In addition, they are an important source of food for animals and are rich in protein and essential nutrients. In some cases, they can be used as biological control agents, so we can understand that there are many benefits in protozoology. Thanks to studies in protozoology, it is possible to know the characteristics of protozoa that are: small, with a variety of shapes, with a differentiated nucleus, free-living, varied nutrition and that produce food by photosynthesis.

It is a broad and exciting branch of microbiology that, for experts, has a great future, since new technologies can be leveraged to study protozoa in great detail. Likewise, this field of study helps to understand how the multicellularity and multiplicity of terrestrial life evolves and it is possible to learn about the effects of environmental changes on these.

Protozoa play an important ecological role: they form an essential link in the food chain, they are producers of organic matter, natural predators of bacteria, they make up zooplankton in seas, oceans, and bodies of water, and they are nutrient recyclers. Apart from the intrinsic value they possess, their economic value is reflected in the industrial processes such as bioinsecticides and transformation such as wastewater treatment and bioremediation.

Although its size is minimal, its populations are very numerous, and, therefore, its action is totally respectable. With respect to ecology, they have inhabited all terrestrial environments. Those who are not parasites, are predators and other herbivores They eat algae and bacteria.

In short, protozoa play an important role in wastewater treatment and are capable of recycling matter and degrading organic matter. They calmly resist the absence of humidity, and fit and they resist until the water touches them being its survival structure. Protozoology is the one who has the leading role in the analysis and study of each of its processes.

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