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The most commonly isolated amoeba from marine environments. Most species have been isolated from marine environments.  It may be differentiated from Vannella (another very common flattened amoeba) by comparing the locomotory and floating morphology (Page 1980; Page 1983).  A salt tolerant amoeba (Hauer et al, 2001) that resembled Vannella in shape, locomotive habit and floating habit turned out to be a Platyamoeba upon E.M. inspection so these diagnostic features must be applied cautiously when attempting to differentiate between these two common genera.  The criteria for differentiating the two genera at the E.M. level are the glycostyles, glycoprotein assemblages that project from the cell surface.  Recent SSurDNA gene analysis (Sims et al, 2002) casts doubt on the validity of the idea that Platyamoeba and Vannella are different genera (see Vannella vs Platyamoeba).  

Platyamoeba at the Protist Information Server

Described species:-
P. australis Marine (Page, 1983) CCAP1565/9 Marorchydore, nr. Brisbane, Australia
P. bursella Marine (Page, 1973) CCAP 1565/10 River Deben, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
P. calycinucleolus Marine (Page, 1973) CCAP 1565/6 beach, West Mersea, Essex, England
P. douvresi  Marine 13mm in length
P. flabellata Marine 
P. mainensis Marine 
P. murchelanoi Marine 
P. nucleolilateralis (Anderson et al, 2003) ATCC50987  Marine or semi-marine.  12-24mm in length.  Most diagnostic feature is the nucleolus which is present as a single mass about 1mm in maximum dimension, that often appears to be touching the nuclear membrane.  Floating form with long tapering pseudopods, like Vannella. Mitochondria have branching tubular cristae.
P. placida Freshwater (Page, 1969) CCAP 1565/2 stream outflow, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
P. plurinucleolus Marine (Page, 1974) ATCC50745 (SSUrRNA gene AY121849 complete); CCAP 1565/7  CCAP 1565/11 both from a beach, West Mersea, Essex, England. 8-34mm in length
P. pseudovannellida  (Hauer et al, 2001) Marine
P. langae Marine ATCC50816  
P. leei Marine 
P. schaefferri  Freshwater 27-29mm in length
P. stenopodia Freshwater (Page, 1969) CCAP 1565/3 CCAP 1565/8 both public lake, Tuskegee, Alabama, USA.
P. thermophila ATCC50600
P. weinsteini Marine


Anderson, O. R. (1998) Densities and diversity of Gymnamoebae in relation to some inshore aquatic habitats in Berbmuda.  J.Eukaryotic Microbiol. 45, 151-155.

Anderson OR, Nerad TA, Cole JC. (2003) Platyamoeba nucleolilateralis n.sp. from the Chesapeake bay region. J.Eukaryot.Microbiol. 50, 57-60.

Hauer G, Rogerson A, Anderson OR. (2001) Platyamoeba pseudovannellida N.Sp., a naked amoeba with wide salt tolerance isolated from the Salton sea, California.  J. Euk. Microbiol. 48, 663-669.

Page, F. C. (1974) Some marine Platyamoeba of East Anglia. J.Mar.Biol.Assn. U.K. 54, 651-664.

Page, F.C. (1969) Platyamoeba stenopodia n. g., n. sp., a freshwater amoeba. J Protozool. 16(3):437-41.

Page, F. C. (1980) Fine structure of some marine strains of Platyamoeba (Gymnamoebia, Thecamoebidae). Protistologica. 14, 605-612.

Page, F. C. (1980) A light- and electron-microscopical comparison of limax and flabellate marine amoeba belonging to four genera. Protistologica. 16, 57-78.

Page, F. C. (1983) Marine Gymnamoebae. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. NERC.

Sims GP, Aitken R, Rogerson A. (2002) Identification and phylogenetic analysis of morphologically similar naked amoebae using small subunits ribosomal RNA. J.Eukaryot.Microbiol. 49, 478-484.


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