What is economic importance of euglena and plasmodium?


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Deborah Mann answered
This is a strange question because when anybody wants to know the economic importance of something, it is usually meant in monetary terms. However, in this case the monetary importance is something that develops somewhere down the line and so is not the first thing someone would think of when considering these two protists.

  • Euglena
Euglena is a microorganism that is able to nourish itself in two ways: By heterotrophy, like animals do, and autotrophy like plants do by photosynthesizing.

When consuming food the heterotrophic way, the euglena surrounds the food and consumes it; when it feeds autotrophically, eugena uses chloroplasts, which is why it is green, that contain chlorophyll and some carotenoid pigments, which produce sugars by photosynthesis.

Because they do this, they produce oxygen and so their economic value in the water is an intrinsic part of the ecosystem and, therefore is valuable.

  • Plasmodium
Plasmodium is the single celled organism that is responsible for malaria through the carrier of a particular species of mosquito called Anopheles. Although plasmodium is a large genus, there are only a few that cause disease in people.

Someone who has been infected with plasmodium will demonstrate many symptoms. They will have a high temperature, followed by chills, which will come and go over a few days. This is indicative of the life span of plasmodium while in its host.

Untreated, the person will suffer severe anemia and oxygen deficiency. If allowed to reach the brain, the victim will suffer from drowsiness and could go into a coma.

Looking at these facts, it may be fair to say that plasmodium has no economic value, but the truly cynical would say that without disease there could be no treatments and the pharmaceutical industry would be out of business.

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