term "amoebae" covers an enormously diverse group of protists
that have adopted a crawling like method of locomotion. A cursory
glance at phylogenetic trees based on SSUrDNA genes (e.g.tree
of life ), indicates that there are several groups of amoebae
separated from each other by other protozoan groups that have adopted a
very different life style. Another impression that these trees give
is that the amoeboid way of life is extremely popular among the protists.
The amoebae that most people will be familiar with is Amoeba
proteus or Chaos carolinense
the so called
"giant amoebae". These have been studied since the very
early days of microscopy and attempts were made to gain information on the
popular problem of how cells move (see Cell Locomotion).
Today, amoeba continue to be useful tools in cell biology, and it is
appreciated than in addition to the famously pathogenic Entamoeba
group, other amoebae such as Naegleria
and Acanthamoeba can be
pathogenic in man and many other amoebae are pathogenic to other organism.
Many amoebae also harbour bacterial
pathogens such as Legionella and
offer them asylum within their chemically resistant cysts.
web site is an attempt to draw together information on the amoeba from the
various sources. The literature, especially the older work, have
tended to be published in obscure journals and other publications that are
difficult to get hold of. I would be very grateful if readers of
this site could advise me on areas they find to be deficient or inaccurate
so that I might make suitable additions and improvements.
Photographs or digital images too would be most welcome (full credit will
be made of course!) (My E-mail
address is :- firstname.lastname@example.org).
At the moment several gaps exist, however I will eventually complete the
descriptions! Why are there no amoeba beginning with J?
Information on each
of the following Genus of amoebae can be selected below:-