Nutrition in Amoeba
Amoeba is an important protozoa found in fresh water. It feeds on microscopic plants and animals present in water. The mode of nutrition in amoeba is Holozoic. And the process of obtaining food by amoeba is called phagocytosis. The different processes involved in the nutrition of amoeba are:
Ingestion is the process of taking food in the body. Amoeba is a unicellular animal, so it doesn’t have a mouth for ingestion of food. Amoeba ingests the food by encircling it by forming pseudopodia. When the food is completely encircled , the food is engulfed in the form of a bag called food vacuole.
Digestion is the process of breaking the large and insoluble molecules in small and water soluble molecules. In amoeba, several digestive enzymes react on the food present in the food vacuoles and break it down into simple and soluble molecules.
The food digested by digestive enzymes is then absorbed in the cytoplasm by the process of diffusion. While the undigested food remains in the food vacuole. If a large amount of food is absorbed by amoeba, the excess food is stored in the cytoplasm in the form of glycogen and lipids.
During this step the food absorbed by the cytoplasm is used to obtain energy, growth and repair. This process of utilizing absorbed food for obtaining energy, repair and growth is called assimilation.
When a sufficient amount of undigested food gets collected in the food vacuole, it is thrown out of the body by rupturing cell membrane. The process of removal of undigested food from the body is called egestion.
Test Your Understanding and Answer These Questions:
- What is phagocytosis?
- Define egestion.
- Explain the various processes of nutrition in amoeba.