What Do Volvox Eat?

Volvox swim toward sunlight with whip-like flagella.
••• micro_photo/iStock/Getty Images

Peer through a microscope at a sample of fresh water, and you might see an emerald green, floating sphere. The hollow ball is actually comprised of algae of the genus Volvox and is a colony of thousands of individual algae cells. As part of the colonial lifestyle, the cells work together to find food energy. Cells with eye spots direct the colony toward sunlight, which is then harvested and converted into sugar.

Primary Producers

Volvox is a photoautotroph, or an organism that produces its own biomass by utilizing light from the sun and inorganic materials such as carbon dioxide and minerals. Volvox algae is green because of its high concentration of chlorophyll, a pigment that absorbs sunlight. Colonies of Volvox consume the sun's energy through the process of photosynthesis and turn it into sugar. The chemical reaction of photosynthesis is carbon dioxide plus water plus sunlight yields sugar, oxygen and water.

Related Articles

Role of Algae in the Ecosystem
The Differences Between Bacteria & Algae
What Are the Functions of Photosynthesis?
How Does the Sun Affect the Food Web?
What Is the Sun's Role in Photosynthesis?
What Do Chloroplasts Use to Make Glucose?
How Are Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration Related?
How are Respiration & Combustion of Gasoline Similar?
The Morphology of Algae
Examples of Marine Food Chains
Types of Organisms That Can Use Photosynthesis
How to Make Sugar Water for Bees
What Type of Vegetation Is Found in Coral Reefs?
Organelles Involved in Photosynthesis
Is Algae a Decomposer, a Scavenger or a Producer?
Structural Characteristics of Blue-Green Algae
The Three Stages of Photosynthesis
The Major Producers Found in Aquatic Ecosystems
How Does a Plant Convert Light Energy to Chemical Energy?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!