Ref ID : 4944

Thomas Cavalier-Smith, Ema E.-Y. Chao, and Brian Oates; Molecular phylogeny of Amoebozoa and the evolutionary significance of the unikont Phalansterium. Europ.J.Protistol. 40:21-48, 2004
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Notes : The taxonomic position of the uniciliate, unicentriolar zooflagellate Phalansterium is problematic; its distinctive ultrastructure with a pericentriolar microtubular cone placed it in its own order and suggested phenotypic closeness to the eukaryote cenancestor. We sequenced the 18S rRNA of a unicellular Phalansterium. Phylogenetic analysis shows that it belongs to Amoebozoa, decisively rejecting a postulated relationship with the cercozoan Spongomonas; Phalansterium groups with Varipodida ord. nov. (Gephyramoeba/Filamoeba) or occasionally Centramoebida emend. (Acanthamoebidae/Balamuthiidae fam. nov.), centrosomes of the latter suggesting flagellate ancestors. We also studied Phalansterium solitarium cyst ultrastructure; unlike previously studied P. solitarium, this strain has pentagonally symmetric walls like P. consociatum. We also sequenced 18S rRNA genes of further isolates of Hyperamoeba, an aerobic unicentriolar amoeboflagellate with conical microtubular skeleton; both group strongly with myxogastrid Mycetozoa. However, the four Hyperamoeba srains do not group together, suggesting that Hyperamoeba are polyphyletic derivatives of myxogastrids that lost fruiting bodies independently. We revise amoebozoan higher-level classification into seven classes, establishing Stelamoebea cl. nov. for Protosteliida emend. plus Dictyosteliida (biciliate former 'protostelids' comprise Parastelida ord. nov. within Myxogastrea), and new subphylum Protamoebae to embrace Variosea cl. nov. (Centramoebida, Phalansteriida, Varipodida), Lobosea emend., Breviatea cl. nov. for 'Mastigamoeba invertens' and relatives, and Discosea cl. nov. comprising Glycostylida ord. nov. (vannellids, vexilliferids, paramoebids, Multicilia), Dermamoebida ord. nov. (Thecamoebidae) and Himatismenida. We argue that the ancestral amoebozoan was probably unikont and that the cenacestral eukaryote may have been also.