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Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Protista
(unranked) Excavata
Phylum: Euglenozoa
Class: Euglenoidea
Order: Euglenales
Family: Euglenaceae
Genus: Euglena
Ehrenberg, 1830

Euglenas (singular, Euglena) are common protists, typical of the euglenids, and commonly found in nutrient-rich freshwater, with a few marine species. It is considered an Euglenophyte, and not a flagellate, because of the presence of chloroplasts in most species. The cells vary in length from around 20 to 300 μm, and are typically cylindrical, oval, or spindle-shaped with a single emergent flagellum for movement. There are usually many bright green chloroplasts, although some species are colorless. If sunlight is not available, it can absorb nutrients from decayed organic material. Euglena is also found in sewage systems.Euglena have a contractile vacuole which maintains the concentration of water and salts within the cell by expelling excess water. The name comes from the Greek words εὔ (eu) and γλήνη (glēnē), meaning good eyeball, referring to Euglena's stigma (also known as eyespot). Until the discovery of the paraflagellar body it was wrongly believed that this was the organelle responsible for the sensing of light. Instead it is just a small part of Euglena's light receptive system and its role is to shield light from the actual light sensitive paraflagellar body (PFB) or so-called photoreceptor. Orientation of the organism towards light is called Phototaxis.

Over 1000 species of Euglena have been described. Marin et al. (2003) revised the genus so that it forms a monophyletic group, moving several species with rigid pellicles to the genus Lepocinclis and including several species without chloroplasts, formerly classified as Astasia and Khawkinea.

See also


  • Marin B, Palm A, Klingberg M, Melkonian M (2003). "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.
  • Miller K, Levine J, (2002). "Biology." Euglenophytes page 506
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Euglena". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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