Unicellular organism

A unicellular organism, also known as a single-celled organism, is an organism that consists of a single cell, unlike a multicellular organism that consists of multiple cells. Organisms fall into two general categories: prokaryotic organisms and eukaryotic organisms. All prokaryotes are unicellular and are classified into bacteria and archaea. Many eukaryotes are multicellular, but some are unicellular such as protozoa, unicellular algae, and unicellular fungi. Unicellular organisms are thought to be the oldest form of life, with early protocells possibly emerging 3.8–4.0 billion years ago.[1][2]

Unicellular organism
Valonia ventricosa, a species of alga with a diameter that ranges typically from 1 to 4 centimetres (0.4 to 1.6 in) is among the largest unicellular species

Although some prokaryotes live in colonies, they are not specialised cells with differing functions. These organisms live together, and each cell must carry out all life processes to survive. In contrast, even the simplest multicellular organisms have cells that depend on each other to survive.

Most multicellular organisms have a unicellular life-cycle stage. Gametes, for example, are reproductive unicells for multicellular organisms.[3] Additionally, multicellularity appears to have evolved independently many times in the history of life.

Some organisms are partially unicellular, like Dictyostelium discoideum. Additionally, unicellular organisms can be multinucleate, like Caulerpa, Plasmodium, and Myxogastria.


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