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Protist Image Data database now available on the WWW

Tim Littlejohn tim at megasun.BCH.UMontreal.CA
Fri Jul 29 08:38:30 EST 1994

"Protist Image Data" database (prerelease 0.1) now available on the WWW

Protist Image Data provides pictures and short descriptions of selected
protist genera, especially those genera whose species are frequently
used as experimental organisms or are important in studies of organismal
evolution. Our intent is to provide up-to-date online information on the
morphology, taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of these organisms. 

We have organized the information in a text-page format. As with all
hypermedia, clicking on highlighted text will access a text page, a
cross-reference within the database, or an online resource, depending
on the context.  Clicking on a picture icon will yield a labelled
illustration that can be further manipulated with a graphics viewer. 

The prerelease version of this database can be accessed through the WWW
at the following URL:


About the database

The database is subdivided into several sections per organism:

Introduction: Briefly presents the type of protist the genus describes,
the approximate number of species in the genus, the presumed
phylogenetic position of the genus, the places in nature in which
species of the genus may be found, and the significance of the genus to

Appearance: Describes what the organisms in the genus look like
under the naked eye and the light microscope. 

Ultrastructure: Describes what the organisms in the genus look like
under the scanning and transmission electron microscopes. 

Life history: Describes asexual and sexual reproduction in the genus. 

Similar genera: Lists a selection of genera with which the subject
genus can be confused. 

Classification: Provides one or more classifications for the genus, as
may be used in botany, zoology, the Handbook of Protoctista, and/or
the Cavalier-Smith system. The principal intent is to help the user find
the genus in texts that deal with organismal morphology and taxonomy.
The authors do not necessarily agree with any of the classifications

Taxonomic problems: Describes known or anticipated changes to the
name of the genus, how the genus is identified, or to the number of
species in the genus. Intended primarily to point out when, and why,
certain well-known names of genera and species have become
unacceptable to taxonomists, and when long-accepted means of
identifying a genus have changed. 

Cultures: Presents data on culture availability and condition (for
instance, whether or not cultures are axenic), as well as a subjective
assessment of how easy they might be to grow. 

Selected references: Gives a short list of books and papers relevant to
morphology, taxonomy and phylogeny of the genus. Intended primarily
to provide an entry to literature not accessible online. 

Internet Resources: Provides pointers or access information to bulletin
boards, gophers, etc. that house further information on the subject

For further information about the database or how to gain access to it,
send email to the developers at:

Charley O'Kelly -  okellyc at bch.umontreal.ca
Tim Littlejohn  -  tim at bch.umontreal.ca

Tim Littlejohn

E-mail:     tim at bch.umontreal.ca  

Snail Mail: Departement de biochimie        Phone: (514) 343-6111, x5149
            Universite de Montreal          Fax:   (514) 343-2210 
            C.P. 6128, Centre-ville
            Montreal (Quebec), H3C 3J7

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