Organisms and Life Processes

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Characteristics of Living Organsims


MOVEMENT- all or part of organism

RESPIRATION - energy from food

STIMULI - respond to changes around them

NUTRITION - need for food

EXCRETION - removal of waste products

REPRODUCTION - producing offspring

GROWTH - and development

CONTROL - their internal environment

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Variety of Living Organisms: Plants

  • Multicellular (bodies made up of many cells)
  • Cells contain chloroplasts (chlorophyll captures sun energy) in order to carry out photosynthesis (using water + CO2 -> sugar + oxygen)
  • Cell wall made of cellulose
  • Store carbohydrates as starch or sucrose
  • Sucrose is transported around plant and sometimes stored in  fruit
  • Flowering plants: such as a cereal (for example maize)
  • Herbaceous legume: (for example peas or beans)
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  • Multicellular
  • Cells do not contain chloroplasts and do not carry out photosynthesis
  • Eat other organisms for energy
  • Do not have a cell wall
  • Most have a form of nervous system for coordination
  • Move whole bodies
  • Carbohydrate stored is glycogen
  • Vertebrates - have a backbone (spinal column) fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
  • Invertebrates - do not have a backbone; sponges, molluscs, worms, strafish, insects and crustaceans
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  • Some multicellular (mushroom,toadstools and moulds), or unicellular 
  • Cell walls made of chitin
  • Not able to carry out photosynthesis
  • Multicellular: made up of  mycelium; thread-like structures called hyphae, which contain many nuclei
  • Saprophytic Nutrition: Secrete enzymes to digest food outside of cell then absorb digested products
  • Store carbohydrates as glycogen
  • Act as decomposers
  • Example: Mucor, which has the typical fungal hyphal structure
  • Yeast, which is single-celled 
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  • Microscopic and single celled
  • Common shapes- spheres, rods and spirals
  • Complex cell wall made of polysaccharides and proteins
  • Lack nucleus. Have a circular chromosome of DNA 
  • Small extra circles of DNA are plasmids
  • Some contain chlorophyll so can carry out photosynthesis, most feed off living and dead organisms
  • Some have slime capsules for protection or flagella for movement
  • Examples: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, a rod-shaped bacterium used in the production of yoghurt from milk. 
  • Pneumococcus, a spherical bacterium that acts as the pathogen causing pneumonia 
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  • Microscopic and single celled
  • Mixed organisms that do not fit in any other kingdom
  • Most unicellular, and some multicellular
  • Some live in ponds like Amoeba, and have features similar to animals
  • Chlorella, a unicellular freshwater alga, has chloroplasts and are more like plants
  • Plasmodium, a pathogenic parasite, causes malaria
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  • Smaller than bacteria
  • Parasites that can only reproduce inside a cell of a host 
  • Infect every type of living organism
  • They have no cellular structure but have a protein coat
  • Contain one type of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA 
  • Very simple and found in a variety of geometrical shapes 
  • Each type  of virus causes a specific disease in an organism it is adapted to infect 
  • Examples: tobacco mosaic virus that causes discolouring of the leaves of tobacco plants by preventing the formation of chloroplasts.
  • The influenza virus that causes ‘flu’
  • The HIV virus that causes AIDS 
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