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A Detailed Overview of Euglena and its Features

Euglena comes under the category of eukaryotes, meaning it has a nucleus within its cell membrane. Unlike the prokaryotes, one of the prominent euglena characteristics is that these organisms are bigger by almost ten times. However, both types have other organelles inside the plasma membrane. 

Herein, you will find euglena structure and classification explained in detail for your fundamental understanding. Make sure you go through each section thoroughly to ace the exam with flying colours.

Like every other living organism, scientists have categorically defined euglena for a universal understanding. Here is the table for the relevant data. Ensure that you remember each category distinctively to avoid confusion in the exam.

Classification of Euglena











Super phylum






From the table you can see euglena is categorised under eight heads. Remember, every classification has a reason behind it, which has made the euglena fall into a specific class or order or phylum. For instance, one of the euglena characteristics is that it has chlorophyll, hence it is put under phylum euglenoza. 

Structure of Euglena

To understand the fundamental structure, here is an euglena diagram to help you. Carefully look at the picture, which shows how the plasma membrane has enclosed all the organelles inside it. Also, note the nucleus represented with red colour. 

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For your convenience, each organelle is well labelled. Also, you should note here that their properties remain the same, similar to any other eukaryotic cell. To help you understand, here is a short description of some of the essential constituents of euglena.

  • Stigma

It is an area that is sensitive to light. Therefore, the stigma helps it to move towards a light source to conduct photosynthesis. 

  • Flagellum

It is a long thread-like structure that works as a navigator or a steering wheel in a car. The thin filament helps an euglena to move forward in any direction it desires.

  • Chloroplast

It is the organelle present inside the plasma membrane that helps in conducting photosynthesis. 

  • Vacuole

This helps in expelling excess water inside the membrane into the reservoir. This excess water, if not expelled, will burst the cell entirely.

  • Pellicle 

It is a thick membrane that is present on the other side of the filament-like structure. This also helps in moving forward when the euglena is wriggling.

  • Nucleus 

It is the central organelle of euglena that contains a nucleolus and DNA. The nucleus is responsible for conducting cellular activities.

You are now aware of the cell constituents and their functions. Make sure you get through them all in detail for an in-depth clarification. Also, refer to the diagram as you study the euglena characteristics. 

Functions of Euglena

By now, you might have known euglena is capable of moving and also reproducing. Hereunder, we will dig deeper into these two concepts for a better hold on this topic.

  • Reproduction

The euglena undergoes asexual reproduction. That being said, euglenas divide themselves longitudinally into two halves and produce offsprings. Their entire life is spent in a swimming stage where they flat freely and survive in a non-motile stage.

Herein the euglena reproduction, they have a thick wall which protects them from external injuries. On some other instances, most euglenas come together and form a mass by leaving their flagella. They come together into a soft substance that is mostly gelatinous.

Binary fission occurs, and the euglenas produce their daughter cells. These cells then grow their respective flagella and become euglenas again. Then they come out of the mass, which is termed as palmelloid stage.

  • Locomotion 

The euglena structure facilitates it to perform locomotion. As already discussed, it has light receptors like features called the stigma, it helps in moving. The stigma navigates or guides the euglena towards the light to undergo photosynthesis. This is called phototaxis movement.

On another instance, there might be more than one flagellum to help the euglena in locomotion. In case, there are more than one flagella, both differ in size. The longer one protrudes out of the cell to help in swimming and move forward. Whereas, the shorter one remains inside the cell.

Hence, now you know how euglena moves and spends its entire lifetime. Although this topic does not end right here, there is always scope for more learning. Here is a short guide to help you make the most of your time available before NEET. 

Get Hold of the Basics and Ace Your Exams 

High scores are mandatory now, considering the fierce competition or securing a decent career. Since your journey in the medical field is only about to begin, it is better to be cautious right from your first step. To start with, study all your lessons, including euglena characteristics and others and revise them.

Also, do not forget to check the euglena diagram. It will build a more robust understanding and help you retain information longer. Besides, get adequate sleep and ensure a balanced diet while you prepare. Indulging yoga or meditation can also help you in keeping calm and motivated. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Do You Understand by Euglena?

Ans. Euglena is an eukaryotic cell that has a plasma membrane covering all its organelles. It belongs to kingdom Protista and phylum euglenoza. 

2. What are the Fundamental Characteristics of Euglena?

Ans. The fundamental euglena characteristics include containing chlorophyll and performing locomotion with a pellicle. Both these features resemble plant-like and animal-like characteristics.

3. What is the Basic Anatomy of Euglena?

Ans. The basic anatomy of euglena is that it has a nucleus and a cell membrane. Its nucleus controls the cellular activities, and the membrane encloses all the organelles, thereby protecting the innerds

4. How is the Locomotion of Euglena Like?

Ans. For locomotion, euglenas use their filament-like structure called a flagellum. They also possess a pellicle that is the thick membrane, which helps them in movement.