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Protist. 2005 Jun;156(1):89-96.

The identification of vahlkampfiid amoebae by ITS sequencing.

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Scientific Institute of Public Health, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.


We have determined the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences (including the 5.8S ribosomal DNA) of 30 strains of 14 species belonging to eight vahlkampfiid genera. Each previously described species has a specific ITS sequence, except for Tetramitus aberdonicus, Tetramitus thorntoni, and Tetramitus jugosus, which have identical ITS sequences. The latter three may therefore constitute a single species despite their apparent phenotypic differences. The ITS sequence appears to be conserved within a species. The species Willaertia magna appears to be ubiquitous. The 5.8S rDNA sequences of Singhamoeba horticola and Learamoeba waccamwensis indicate that they do not represent different genera, but both belong to the genus Tetramitus. The ITS sequences of 16 undescribed vahlkampfiid isolates were determined. Based on these sequences, seven isolates were identified as belonging to described species, while nine probably represent seven new species. Five of these presumed new species belong to the genus Tetramitus, and one each to the genera Vahlkampfia and Paravahlkampfia.

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