Euglena

Euglena

[yoo-glee-nuh]
Euglena are a common group of unicellular protists, of the class Euglenoidea of the phylum Euglenophyta. Currently, over 1000 species of Euglena have been described. Marin et al. (2003) revised the genus so and including several species without chloroplasts, formerly classified as Astasia and Khawkinea. Euglena sometimes can be considered to have both plant and animal features.

A euglena is a protist that can eat food like animals do (partly heterotrophic) and can make food like plants do (partly autotrophic). Euglena can surround a particle of food and eat it (phagocytosis). Many Euglena contain chloroplasts and chlorophyll a and b. Euglena live in fresh water, salt water and in the soil. Many Euglena are able to move by using a flagellum, a long whip-like structure. When the water dries up, a euglena forms a thick protective wall around itself and lies dormant in the form of a spore until the environment improves. It reproduces by fission,splitting into parts, like amoeba.

References

"Phylogeny and taxonomic revision of plastid-containing euglenophytes based on SSU rDNA sequence comparisons and synapomorphic signatures in the SSU rRNA secondary structure."

Protist 154(1):99–145. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=12812373

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