Phagotrophic algae in a wastewater stabilization pond

Emmanuel Bezerra D’Alessandro, Ina de Souza Nogueira, Nora Katia Saavedra del Aguila Hoffmann


In the course of evolution, phagotrophic euglenoids developed before the phototrophic species. Most phagotrophic euglenoids have a robust feeding apparatus. Members of the algal genus Peranema are able to eat a wide variety of living organisms that have little or no mobility, such as other unicellular algae and live yeasts. Stabilization ponds are artificial environments rich in organic matter, nutrients and microorganisms, and are therefore suitable environments for growing species of Euglenophyta. This contribution records, through photographs and videos, the operation of the feeding apparatus of Peranema collected in a wastewater stabilization pond. The mean pheophytin content of the water was higher than the mean chlorophyll a content, which indicates a non-ideal environment for the growth of microalgae. Thus, Peranema can be used as a bioindicator of the quality of wastewater stabilization pond. The operation of the feeding apparatus of Peranema sp. and the strategy for phagocytizing plastids of Lepocinclis sp. are described.


Euglenophyta, Peranema, Phagotrophic, Pheophytin.

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