Euglena gracilis

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Euglena gracilis
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): Excavata
Division: Euglenozoa[1][2]
Class: Euglenoidea
Order: Euglenales
Family: Euglenaceae
Genus: Euglena
Species: E. gracilis
Binomial name
Euglena gracilis

Euglena gracilis is a species of single-celled Eukaryote algae in the genus Euglena. They have a secondary chloroplast and can feed by photosynthesis, heterotrophy or phagocytosis. They have a highly flexible cell surface, allowing them to change shape from thin cells up to 100 µm long to spheres of approximately 20 µm. They have two flagella, only one of which emerges from the flagellar pocket (reservoir) in the anterior of the cell, and can move by swimming, or by so-called "euglenoid" movement across surfaces. Euglena gracilis has been used extensively in the laboratory as a model organism, particularly for studying cell biology and biochemistry.[3]


A morphological and molecular study of the Euglenozoa put Euglena gracilis in close kinship with the species Khawkinea quartana, with Peranema trichophorum basal to both.,[4] although a later molecular analysis showed that E. gracilis was, in fact, more closely related to Astasia longa than to certain other species recognized as Euglena. The transcriptome of Euglena gracilis was recently sequenced, providing information about all of the genes that the organism is actively using. They found that Euglena gracilis has a whole host of new, unclassified genes which can make complex carbohydrates and natural products.[5][6]


  1. ^ Adl, SM; Simpson, AG; Lane, CE; Lukeš, J; Bass, D (2012). "The Revised Classification of Eukaryotes". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 59 (5): 429–493. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2012.00644.x. PMC 3483872Freely accessible. PMID 23020233. 
  2. ^ Guiry, MD; Guiry, GM. "Algaebase Taxonomy Browser". Algaebase. National University of Ireland. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 
  3. ^ Russell, A. G.; Watanabe, Y; Charette, JM; Gray, MW (2005). "Unusual features of fibrillarin cDNA and gene structure in Euglena gracilis: Evolutionary conservation of core proteins and structural predictions for methylation-guide box C/D snoRNPs throughout the domain Eucarya". Nucleic Acids Research. 33 (9): 2781–91. doi:10.1093/nar/gki574. PMC 1126904Freely accessible. PMID 15894796. 
  4. ^ Montegut-Felkner, Ann E.; Triemer, Richard E. (1997). "Phylogenetic Relationships of Selected Euglenoid Genera Based on Morphological and Molecular Data". Journal of Phycology. 33 (3): 512–9. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3646.1997.00512.x. 
  5. ^ The potential in your pond published on August 14, 2015 by the "John Innes Centre"
  6. ^ O'Neill, Ellis C.; Trick, Martin; Hill, Lionel; Rejzek, Martin; Dusi, Renata G.; Hamilton, Christopher J.; Zimba, Paul V.; Henrissat, Bernard; Field, Robert A. (2015). "The transcriptome of Euglena gracilis reveals unexpected metabolic capabilities for carbohydrate and natural product biochemistry". Molecular Biosystems. 11 (10): 2808–21. doi:10.1039/C5MB00319A. 


Euglena gracilis (click to enlarge)