Amoeba is a microscopic single called organism found in pond water. Amoeba belongs to the group Protozoa. The name Amoeba is derived from the Greek word ‘Amoibe`’, meaning change. Amoeba has a cell membrane, a rounded, dense nucleus, and small bubble-like vacuoles in their cytoplasm. Amoeba contains jelly-like cytoplasm. As you see the amoeba has no fixed shape. Let us learn the process of digestion in amoeba.
You have studied how food is grabbed by amoeba. Now, the prey can be killed and enters the cytoplasm by passing through the membrane of the food vacuole. The food is converted into a soluble form in the food vacuole with the help of several digestive enzymes that are present in the cytoplasm.
They act on the food and break it down into simpler substances. Gradually, the soluble digested food components diffuse into the cytoplasm. It is then utilized by the cell. The absorbed substances are used for growth, maintenance, and multiplication. The undigested food is expelled outside by the food vacuole. Amoeba’s digestive system is one of the most basic digestive systems.
Locomotion and feeding in amoeba
An amoeba can move in all directions and can change its shape with the help of pseudopodia. You would be thinking what pseudopodium is!! Actually, amoeba pushes out one or more finger-like projections, called pseudopodia or false feet for movement and to capture food.
When the amoeba senses food, it pushes out pseudopodia. The food particle gets surrounded by encircling pseudopodia which touch each other by their tips. At this moment the membrane closer to the food particle gets dissolved and the food is encaptured into the cell in the form of a bag called a food vacuole. The food gets trapped in a food vacuole.
The further process of digestion in amoeba takes place inside the food vacuole. Amoeba feeds on microscopic animals(other protozoans), bacteria, decaying food particles, and microscopic plants that float in the water body.