Q:

How do Euglena get rid of waste?

A:

Quick Answer

Euglena excrete waste in the same way as other protozoans, through a vacuole sack that can take in and push out water loaded with nutrients or metabolic products. The vacuole sack enlarges as the waste products accumulate. These vacuoles are discharged as frequently as every half minute.

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Full Answer

The cytosol of the plasma membrane of euglena makes them always hypertonic to their surrounding aquatic environment. This enables water to flow freely across the plasma membrane, facilitating the expulsion of waste from the vacuole. Contractile vacuoles consist of two sub-compartments, each of which is encircled by a different membrane. One membrane is divided into minute tubules and vesicles containing proton-translocating enzymes that enable active transport of components in and out of the protozoa. This active transport involves the generation of an electrochemical gradient though the membrane enzymes, which pumps out unwanted waste components and pumps desirable nutrients into the protozoan.

The other membrane serves as an enclosure for a reservoir, lacking the enzymes of the first. This second membrane is elastic, enabling its expansion for the storage of excess fluid. The elastic membrane may fuse with the outer plasma membrane surrounding the two sub-compartments to eject unwanted waste products. In addition to waste product expulsion, the vacuole sack is responsible for the osmoregulation of the interior of the euglena with its surrounding environment.

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  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of Euglena?

    A:

    Euglena are single-celled organisms that live mostly in fresh water, although a few species do live in salt water. They have long tails called flagella, which they use to move through water. Most species of euglena contain chloroplasts and produce their own food through photosynthesis.

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  • Q:

    What is the shape of Euglena?

    A:

    The shape of Euglena resembles an elongated or spindle-shaped cell that is 15 to 500 micrometers, or 0.0006 to 0.02 inches, in length. Some species can change their shape as they lack a rigid cellulose wall, and instead have a flexible pellicle.

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  • Q:

    What is Euglena viridis?

    A:

    Euglena viridis is the type species for the genus Euglena, a group of tiny one-celled organisms that swims using flagella and creates energy using chloroplasts. Euglena viridis is spindle shaped and lives in water. It has between one and 15 chloroplasts and a flagellum as long as its body.

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  • Q:

    What is the scientific classification of Euglena?

    A:

    Scientists assign Euglena to the Kingdom Protista, although these unique organisms share characteristics of plants and animals. The complex physical and biological structures of Euglena keep them from meeting all the qualification criteria of most kingdoms, but they most closely resemble protists. The Kingdom Protista contains other microorganisms like amoebas and paramecium, making it the most suitable classification for Euglena.

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