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Mol Biol Evol. 2003 Nov;20(11):1881-6. Epub 2003 Aug 29.

Phylogeny of lobose amoebae based on actin and small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes.

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Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


Lobose amoebae are abundant free-living protists and important pathogenic agents, yet their evolutionary history and position in the universal tree of life are poorly known. Molecular data for lobose amoebae are limited to a few species, and all phylogenetic studies published so far lacked representatives of many of their taxonomic groups. Here we analyze actin and small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene sequences of a broad taxon sampling of naked, lobose amoebae. Our results support the existence of a monophyletic Amoebozoa clade, which comprises all lobose amoebae examined so far, the amitochondriate pelobionts and entamoebids, and the slime molds. Both actin and SSU rRNA phylogenies distinguish two well-defined clades of amoebae, the "Gymnamoebia sensu stricto" and the Archamoebae (pelobionts + entamoebids), and one weakly supported and ill-resolved group comprising some naked, lobose amoebae and the Mycetozoa.

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