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So far only one described species M. marina, it is found throughout the world's oceans in sub-tropical mangrove swamps (Rogerson & Gwaltney, 2000), deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Eastern Pacific (Atkins et al, 2000), the Southern Baltic sea (Garstecki & Arndt, 2000), and the North West Altlantic.

M. marina. (Larsen & Patterson, 1990), A very small amoebo-flagellate (5-8um in length).  All seven strains so far isolated have 99% identical SSUrDNA sequences! (Atkins et al, 2000), and this analysis also shows that Massisteria groups within the order Cercomonadida (a group of heterotrophic flagellates).

Strains available:-

M. marina ATCC 50266 (Sawyer & Small, 1990) Hudson Canyon, North West Altlantic.partial SSUrDNA gene RF77228.
M. sp ATCC 50817 (Nerad) SA-04190002 no further details available.

Atkins, M.S., Teske, A.P., Anderson,O.R. (2000). "A survey of flagellate diversity at four deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Eastern Pacifiic ocean using structural and molecular approaches." J.Euk.Microbiol. 47(4), 400-411.

Larsen, J. & Patterson, D.J. (1990). "Some flagellates (Protista) from tropical sediments." J.Nat.His. 24, 801-937

Garstecki, T. & Arndt, H. (2000). "Seasonal abundances and community structure of benthic Rhizopods in shallow lagoons of the Southern Baltic sea. Eur.J.Protistology 36, 103-115.

Patterson, D.J. & Fenchel, T. (1990). "Massisteria marina Larsen &  Patterson 1990, a widespread and abundant bacterivorous protist associated with marine detritus." Mar.Ecol.Prog.Ser. 62, 11-19.

Rogerson, A. & Gwaltney, C. (2000). "High numbers of naked amoebae in the planktonic waters of a mangrove stand in Southern Florida, USA." J.Euk.Microbiol. 47(3), 235-241.

Sogin, M. L., Silberman, J.D, Hinkle, G. & Morrison, H.G. (1996). "Problems with molecular diversity in the eukarya.".Society of General Microbiology Symposium: Evolution of microbial Life ed.Roberts, D.M., Sharp, P., Alderson, G. & Collins, M.A. Cambridge University Press. pp167-184.

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