Euglena cells have a complex metabolism, able to grow using photosynthesis, osmotrophy or eukaryovory. Euglena contain a secondary plastid, derived from a green algae, and acquired by a free living ancestor. E. gracilis can survive after destruction of this plastid, unlike other photosynthetic organisms. In order to understand this complex metabolism in Euglena we are using a range of metabolic profiling techniques. this has revealed the different pathways used by Euglena under alternative conditions and may be used to optimise growth for production of a range of products.
Work published on metabolite profiling in Euglena
This paper describes our work identifying the subcellular location of various metabolic pathways in Euglena. Due to the relatively recently acquired secondary plastid, the locations cannot be predicted based on other photosynthetic organisms. Indeed, the chloroplast can be entirely lost, whilst the organism remains viable.