Euglenoids Characteristics

Euglenoids Characteristics:

Euglenoids belong to Phylum Euglenophyta. It includes Euglena-like flagellates which have plant characteristics (chlorophyll) in addition to some animal characteristics. They ingest food particles and carry on photosynthesis.

Following were the important characteristics of Euglenoids-

  • Euglenoids are unicellular, flagellated protists commonly found in freshwater. Some are found in brackish water and damp soil also.
  • Instead of a cellulose cell wall, they have a protein-rich layer called a pellicle which is flexible and allows a change in shape.
  • All the euglenoids have two flagella, one short and the other long. Each flagellum arises from a basal granule or blepharoplast. The short flagellum terminates over the base of the long flagellum. The long flagella help in locomotion.
  • Euglenoids bear a red-pigmented eyespot and a gullet near the base of the flagellum. The pigment in the eyespot is astaxanthin.
  • Photoautotrophic forms possess many long radiating chloroplasts, which contain chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, β-carotene and xanthophyll pigments.
  • Nutrition is photosynthetic in pigmented euglenoids. Colourless euglenoids are saprotrophic (example- Rhabdomonas), phagotrophic (example- Peranema) or both (example- Petalomonas). A few are parasitic. Even photosynthetic forms can absorb organic food from the outside. Example- Euglena. Such nutrition is called mixotrophic.
  • The reserve food is in the form of paramylum or paramylon granules. These lie scattered in the cytoplasm.
  • The nucleus is prominent and lies near the centre of the unicell. A prominent nucleus called an endosome is present in the nucleus. The spindle is intranuclear. The nuclear envelope persists during division.
  • They reproduce asexually by longitudinal binary fission and by cysts during unfavourable conditions.

Examples- Euglena, Phacus, Paranema, Astasia, Trachelomonas etc.

Euglena Diagram

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