General, Research, Technology

The secret of euglena green: a plant, an animal or a simple organism?

The simplest microorganisms surround us everywhere. On hearing most people have names like "ciliate shoe" or "amoeba", but in fact there are many more unicellular microorganisms. Despite these or those differences, the protozoa are basically similar - both in terms of the food model and in structure, the differences, as a rule, relate only to the method of movement. But there is one genus of microorganisms, which, although it is classified as the simplest, since it consists of one cell, but at the same time it cannot be given such a clear classification. After all, its representatives differ in that they combine the signs of PLANTS and ANIMALS. it genus euglen.

Scientists still cannot decide what type these microorganisms belong to.


  • 1 What is euglena green
  • 2 Where does Euglena green live?
  • 3 Euglena green - plant or animal?
  • 4 How plants differ from animals

What is euglena green

Euglena green - a unicellular organism, a representative of the simplest, from the genus Euglena. The cell size is about 0.05 mm, so it is difficult to see it with the naked eye.

For example, we can take the brightest representative of the Euglena genus - euglena green... Her cell contains chlorophyll, just likeplants, so it can feed on the process of photosynthesis. And in the darkness of euglena, green eats like an animal - devouring organic matter around it. At the same time, she moves very actively, another sign that makes her related to animals.

Photosynthesis - the process of formation of carbohydrates in cells from carbon dioxide and water using light, which absorbs plant chlorophyll.

Euglena green under the microscope

Euglena has an elongated body, at the end of whichthere is a flagellum, with the help of it the body moves. The flagellum is screwed into the water, while the cell itself rotates in the other direction. Next to the flagellum, it has a cellular mouth to absorb organic food. By the way, the flagellum also takes part in this.

Euglena green differs in that it floats towards the light. For this, in the front of the cell there is a light-sensitive formation - a red eye.

Where does Euglena green live?

The habitat of euglena is considered to be pollutedfresh water bodies. Surely you wondered "why is the water in the swamp green?" - this shade of water acquires just with a strong reproduction of green euglena. In such reservoirs, organic food is enough for her, moreover, so euglena remains in the light and can feed on photosynthesis - like a plant.

This water contains a large concentration of green euglena

Representatives of the genus Euglena are widespread innature, they inhabit freshwater pools, ponds and lakes. Euglena can use photosynthesis and organic consumption as interchangeable and apparently equivalent sources of carbon and energy. Sexual reproduction was not found in euglena.

Euglena green - plant or animal?

Among scientists, euglena is classified partiallylike a plant, partly like an animal. At the same time, it does not officially refer to either the animal kingdom or the plant kingdom. According to a survey in our Telegram chat, many believe that this is a mobile plant, but this is not entirely true.

Euglena belong to the group of unicellulareuglenozoa organisms, which contain colorless and pigmented organisms. Among them are osmotrophs, which do not have organs for food intake and which are able to absorb molecules directly from the environment. Also included are parasites and phagotrophs, which hunt and consume food solids, including bacteria and other single-celled organisms that live in these environments.

Among phagotrophs there are organisms that feed on bacteria, and eukaryotes (cells containing nuclei) that feed on the same eukaryotes. Many are also capable of photosynthesis.

The most interesting part of euglena is eye spot... The eye spot is actually a peephole (stigma) that is very sensitive to light. This helps the euglena find sunlight for photosynthesis.

Diagram of the structure of euglena green

For hundreds of years, zoologists have considered theseamazing organisms are animals, and botanists considered them plants. The classification eventually led to confusion, since euglena green can eat food through heterotrophy, like animals, and also through autotrophy, like plants. Therefore, it is green, as it contains chloroplasts.

How plants differ from animals

It seems to be euglena green Is nothing more than a real plant. But in order to accurately attribute it to plants, you need to remember the distinctive features of these organisms.

  • Plants are not able to actively move in space.
  • The plant cell is necessarily covered with a substance called cellulose, or fiber.
  • The plant cell deposits storage substances in the form of starch.

Euglena green does not meet any of these criteria. First of all, she is actively moving using a flagellum. Secondly, euglena no cell wall, her body can change its shape. Thirdly, euglena no starch, it stores sugar in the form of a special substance - paramilone. By the way, this is a unique substance that has not been found in any other living organism.

It turns out that the only thing that green euglena looks like plants is the presence of chlorophyll... For the same reason, it cannot be classified as an animal, since no animal is capable of photosynthesis.

These controversial points make euglena stand outgreen and the whole euglena family into a separate kingdom, different from plants and animals. Despite this, in the generally accepted classification of euglena, green is still the simplest (single-celled organism). But it is possible that in the near future this classification will be finalized.