The Effects of Copper on Euglena gracilis ’ Oxygen Production


  • Jiny Lee
  • Shraddha Patki
  • Hana Salehi
  • Albana Vukaj


Understanding the effects of heavy metals such as copper on various organisms in an ecosystem
is essential to protecting their habitats in an efficient manner. The following study was conducted
to measure the oxygen production of the primary producer Euglena gracilis in various copper
concentrations. Fifteen samples of E. gracilis were left in an incubator for a span of three hours
in various copper concentrations. Cell count as well as oxygen production was measured
previous to, and after incubation and recorded. Even though it was expected that the highest
oxygen production would be from samples with lowest copper concentrations, it was found that
the treatment with 0.15 mg/L copper concentration had the greatest median for oxygen
production. Both 0.15 mg/L and 1.5 mg/L treatment types showed greater oxygen production in
comparison to the control group. However, it was concluded that there is no significant
correlation between various copper concentrations and oxygen production by E. gracilis.