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The Amoebae

The 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.

This 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 :- smaciver@staffmail.ed.ac.uk).  At the moment several gaps exist, however I will eventually complete the descriptions!  Why are there no amoeba beginning with J? 


The Major Groups of Amoebae

The Acanthopodida The Amoeba/Chaos group     The Entamoebidae
The Heterolobosea      The Vannellidae

Information on each of the following Genus of amoebae can be selected below:-

A Acanthamoeba Acrasis Adelphamoeba Amoeba Astramoeba
B Balamuthia
C Cashia Chaos Clydonella
D Dactylamoeba Dientamoeba Dinamoeba Discamoeba
E Echinamoeba Endamoeba Entamoeba
F Filamoeba Flabelulla Flagellipodium Flamella
G Gephyramoeba Gibbodiscus Glaeseria Gocevia Gruberella
H Hartmannella Heteramoeba Hollandella Histomonas Hyalodiscus
Hydramoeba Hyperamoeba
I Iodamoeba
K Korotnevella
L Labyrinthula Learamoeba Leptomyxa Lingulamoeba
M Macropharyngomonas Malamoeba Mastigamoeba Mastigella Mastigina
Mayorella Metachaos Micronuclearia Monopylocystis
N Naegleria Neoparamoeba Neovahlkampfia Nollandia Nuclearia
O Oscillosignum
P Paragocevia Paramoeba Paratetramitus Paravahlkampfia Parvamoeba
Pelomyxa Pernina Pfiesteria Polychaos Pontifex
Phreatamoeba Platyamoeba Protoacanthamoeba Protonaegleria Psalteriomonas
  Pseudomastigamoeba Plaesiobystra      
R Rhizamoeba Rosculus Rugipes
S Saccamoeba Sappinia Sawyeria Stachyamoeba Stereomyxa
Striamoeba Striolatus Stygamoeba Subulamoeba
T Tetramitus Thecamoeba Theratromyxa Trichamoeba Trichosphaerium
Trienamoeba Trimastigamoeba
U Unda
V Vahlkampfia Vampyrella Vampyrellium Vannella Vexillifera
W Willaertia
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