Euglena are unicellular organisms classified into the Kingdom Protista, and thePhylum Euglenophyta. All euglena have chloroplasts and can make theirown food by photosynthesis. They are not completely autotrophic though,euglena can also absorb food from their environment; euglena usuallylive in quiet ponds or puddles.
Euglena move by aflagellum (plural ‚ flagella), which is a long whip-like structure thatacts like a little motor. The flagellum is located on the anterior(front) end, and twirls in such a way as to pull the cell through thewater. It is attached at an inward pocket called the reservoir. Colorthe reservoir grey and the flagellum black.
The Euglena isunique in that it is both heterotrophic (must consume food) andautotrophic (can make its own food). Chloroplasts within the euglenatrap sunlight that is used for photosynthesis, and can be seen asseveral rod like structures throughout the cell. Color thechloroplasts green. Euglena also have an eyespot at the anteriorend that detects light, it can be seen near the reservoir. This helpsthe euglena find bright areas to gather sunlight to make their food. Colorthe eyespot red. Euglena can also gain nutrients by absorbing themacross their cell membrane, hence they become heterotrophic when lightis not available, and they cannot photosynthesize.
The euglena has astiff pellicle outside the cell membrane that helps it keep its shape,though the pellicle is somewhat flexible and some euglena can beobserved scrunching up and moving in an inchworm type fashion. Colorthe pellicle blue.
In the center of thecell is the nucleus, which contains the cell”s DNA and controls thecell”s activities. The nucleolus can be seen within the nucleus. Colorthe nucleus purple, and the nucleolus pink.
The interior of thecell contains a jelly-like fluid substance called cytoplasm. Colorthe cytoplasm light yellow.
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Toward the posterior of the cell is astar-like structure: the contractile vacuole. This organelle helps thecell remove excess water, and without it the euglena could take in somemuch water due to osmosis that the cell would explode. Color thecontractile vacuole orange.
Color the Euglenaaccording to the directions. Organelles can be identified based ontheir descriptions and locations Answer the following questions
1. Are euglena unicellular or multicellular?
2. What Kingdom do euglena belong to? What Phylum?
3. What organelle carries out photosynthesis?
4. On which end is the flagellum located?
5. Define autotrophic.
6. Define heterotrophic.
7. Describe the two ways in which the euglena get their nutrients.
8. What is the eyespot used for?
9. What is the function of the nucleus?
10. What is the function of the contractile vacuole?
What would happen if the cell did not have this organelle?
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