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Presumed to reside within the family Vampyrellidae (Cann & Page, 1979), the genus Nuclearia has recently (Amaral Zettler et al, 2001) (Hertel et al, 2002) been placed at the boundary between animals and fungi. The nucleariid amoeba typically have a rounded body extending from which are elongated filopodia.  All members of the genus so far have been isolated from freshwater, however it is likely that the genus is also present in marine environments as a Nuclearia-like SSUrDNA has been accidentally cloned from marine material (Bhattacharya et al, 2000). The relationship between Nuclearia and Vampyrellidium genus is not certain and they may be one and the same. The genus Nuclearia has been established as being monophylectic except that ATTCC30864 does not group with the other members for which SSUrRNA sequence is available (Amaral Zettler et al, 2001).


Nuclearia at the Protist Information Server      Nuclearia movie at the Protist Information Server

Available Strains:-

Nuclearia moebiusi  CCAP 1552/3 Freshwater, Bristol, England. 

Nuclearia delicatula CCAP 1552/1 Freshwater pond, Cambridge, England. 
Nuclearia simplex CCAP 1552/4 Freshwater, Heidelberg, Germany.
Nuclearia simplex CCAP 1552/2 Freshwater, West Berlin, Germany.
Nuclearia sp. ATCC30864.  This amoeba differs significantly from other Nuclearia in its size (3-5 microns in diameter), mitochondrial morphology.  It lacks contractile vacuoles and feeds via a peduncle.  This strain groups beside rather that with the other Nuclearia species (Amaral Zettler et al, 2001), and seems to be a parasite of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Owczarzak et al, 1980; Stibbs et al, 1979; Bayne, 1982) rather than being free-living as the others are.


Amaral Zettler, L. A., Nerad, T. A., O'Kelly, C. J. & Sogin, M. L. (2001) The nucleariid amoebae: more protists at the animal-fungal boundary. J. Euk.Microbiol. 48, 293-297.

Bayne, C. J. (1982) Lectin-induced mitogenesis of cytotoxic amebae (Nuclearia) isolated from Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca:Gastropoda). Dev Comp Immunol. 6, 369-373.

Bhattacharya, D. & Oliveira, M. C. (2000) The SSU rDNA coding region of a filose amoeba contains a group I intron lacking the universally conserved G at the 3'-terminus. J.Eukaryot.Microbiol. 47, 585-589.

Jahn, Bovee & Griffiths, 1974

Hertel, L. A., Bayne, C. J. & Loker, E. S. (2002) The symbiont Capsaspora owczarzaki, nov. gen. nov. sp., isolated from three strains of the pulmonate snail Biomphalaria glabrata is related to members of the Mesomycetozoea., Int.J.Parasitol. 32, 1183-91.

Owczarzak, A., Stibbs, H.H., & Bayne, C.J. (1980) The destruction of Schistosoma mansoni mother sporocysts in vitro by amoebae isolated from Biomphalaria glabrata: an ultrastructural study. J.Invert.Pathol. 35, 26-33.

Page, F.C. (1993). "Marine Gymnamoebae". Cambridge Inst.Terr.Ecol. NERC

Patterson, D.J. (1983) On the organization of the naked filose amoeba, Nuclearia moebiusi Frenkel, 1897 (Sarcodina, Filosea) and its implications. J.Protozool. 30, 301-307.

Patterson, D.J. (1984) The genus Nuclearia (Sarcodina, Filosea): species composition and characteristics of the taxa. Arch.Prositenk. 128, 127-139.

Stibbs, H.H., Owczarzak, A., Payne, C.J., & DeWan, P. (1979) Schistosome sporocyst-killing amoebae isolated from Biomphalaria glabrata. J.Invert.Pathol. 33, 159-170.

Tong, S., Vors, N. and Patterson, D.J. (1997) Heterotrohic flagellates, centrohelid heliozoa and filose amoebae from marine and freshwater sites in the Antarctic. Polar Biol 18:91-106.


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