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 Morphology of Algae
The Major Producers Found in Aquatic Ecosystems
What Is the Sun's Role in Photosynthesis?
What Do Chloroplasts Use to Make Glucose?
Is Algae a Decomposer, a Scavenger or a Producer?
The Differences Between Bacteria & Algae
The Three Stages of Photosynthesis
Structural Characteristics of Blue-Green Algae
What Are the Functions of Photosynthesis?
Types of Organisms That Can Use Photosynthesis
Type of Energy Produced by Photosynthesis
How to Make Your Own Agar for Petri Dishes
How Does the Sun Affect the Food Web?
Organelles Involved in Photosynthesis
Examples of Marine Food Chains
Facts on Bread Mold
Key Differences Between C3, C4 and CAM Photosynthesis
Heterotrophs & Autotrophs in the Tropical Rainforest
What Are Good Protists?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!