In protistology, amoeba specifically pertains to the genus Amoeba (true amoeba) the the family Amoebidae, class Tubulinea. This genus is made up of single-celled protists. They are free-living and feed on bacteria, various other protists, or detritus. Castle are defined by the protoplasmic movement and also cytoplasmic projections called pseudopodia (false feet). Among the best-known instances is the huge amoeba, Amoeba proteus. Some references though take into consideration amoeba as any form of cell with the ability to alter cell form and kind pseudopods that deserve to be extended and also retracted. These organisms were originally classified under the subphylum Sarcodina. However, with modern-day molecular phylogenetic analyses, the subphylum was found to it is in monophyletic. Members that this taxonomic group did not come from a typical ancestor and also therefore cannot be taken into consideration as a single group. As such, the usage of the hatchet amoeba has those that have amoeboid (amoeba-like) characteristics. Examples of medically-notable amoeboid protists space Entamoeba histolytica and Naegleria fowleri.

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The ax amoeba originates from Greek amoibe, definition “to change”. This may be due to its shape that is continually changing. Variants: amœba; ameba.

Amoeba definition

The hatchet amoeba is provided to usually refer to any cell that exhibits one amoeboid movement. One amoeboid movement is one in i m sorry the cell develops pseudopods that deserve to be extended and retracted as the cabinet moves. In this regard, amoebas encompass cells that space amoeba-like, such as cells of certain fungi, algae, and animals. Lock are likewise referred to together amoeboid to point to their amoeba-like appearance and also amoeboid movement. In stricter an interpretation though an amoeba refers to the types belonging to the genus Amoeba. This genus is a member of household Amoebidae, course Tubulinea, domain Eucarya. The species of this genus (e.g. Amoeba proteus) are described as true amoeba. They are single-celled, free-living and also eukaryotic protists.



Illustration of an amoeba cell with parts: pseudopod, vacuoles, endoplasm, ectoplasm, nucleus, and also membrane.

The capability to constantly transform the cabinet shape is just one of the major Amoeba characteristics. Inside the cell room cytoplasmic microfilaments that enable the formation of momentary cytoplasmic projections called pseudopodia (or pseudopods). The function of pseudopodia in amoeba is locomotion. In essence, it forms in front of the cell and also then pulls the cell forward in a sliding movement. Thus, the amoeba cell appears to it is in crawling on a substrate with its pseudopod. Another duty of pseudopodia is for food capturing and ingestion. The amoeba cell surrounds the food (e.g. Bacteria, other protists, detritus) v its pseudopod. When food comes in call with an amoeba cell, the ectoplasm forms a tube called ectoplasmic tube, takes the food into it, and also then converts it into a food vacuole.(1) The eating procedure of the amoeba deserve to be likened come a human phagocyte executing phagocytosis of a foreign body. As for the amoeba structure, the cell has actually two unique parts: the inside endoplasm and also the outer ectoplasm. The endoplasm is the metabolically-active part of the amoeba protoplasm. The ectoplasm is the thin, transparent, somewhat rigid portion. The different consistencies of endoplasm and ectoplasm aid in the development of pseudopod. The amoeba cabinet may form a single dominant pseudopod, particularly when crawling or numerous pseudopods at when when they are easily floating. Typically, over there is a single nucleus that includes most that the DNA. Another prominent cytoplasmic framework is contractile vacuole. The major function that contractile vacuole in amoeba is for osmoregulation. It regulates osmotic pressures within the cell. It does for this reason by filling itself v excess cytoplasmic water (diastole). Then, the fuses with the cabinet membrane to relax the content outside by a rapid contraction (systole). Amoeba reproduction is through binary fission, a type of asexual reproduction incorporating mitosis and also cytokinesis. Sex-related reproduction (e.g. Through syngamy) appears to occur as well, an especially in details Amoebozoans.(3) Although over there is no direct observation the it occurs in amoebas, meiosis and genetic recombination were observed.(3, 4)


In older classification system, Amoeba is classified under the subphylum Sarcodina, a taxonomic team within the phylum Sarcomastigophora. Members of this subphylum are characterized by being single-celled and their ability to move by protoplasmic circulation or by pseudopod. However, molecule phylogenetic research studies implicate the Sarcodina is not a monophyletic group, meaning its members execute not have actually a common descent, and as together cannot be taken into consideration as a solitary group.(5) Nonetheless, amoebas room still share under domain Eucarya, implicating the they space eukaryotes.


Free-living types of the Amoeba genus are uncovered in freshwater and also soil habitats. They are significant predators of bacter populations.(6) Amoeba proteus is an example of a free-living amoeba. It is a huge protist as its length may reach up to 2 mm. The is non-pathogenic together there has been no recognized Amoeba proteus condition in humans and also other animals. Part amoeba-like protists, though, room opportunistic pathogens. Provided the opportunity, they might live as a parasite within a host and also cause disease. One of the medically-important amoebas is the Entamoeba histolytica. This species causes entamoebiasis and also amebic dysentery come its human and other primate hosts. It forms a cyst that deserve to be sent with ingestion the infected water or food. When swallowed, the cyst will certainly release the trophozoite in the digestive tract and also become pathogenic. It reasons flask-shaped ulcers, and eventually, bloody diarrhea. In certain instances, that migrates come the bloodstream, and subsequently, reaches other organs (e.g. Liver) wherein they reason damage together well. Another is the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri. The varieties lives in warm springs, heat freshwater lakes, and rivers. It deserve to turn from a free-living state into a parasite as soon as it enters the body of a host, e.g. Humans. The enters with the nose and also penetrates the sleep mucosa. Later, that migrates come the brain through the olfactory nerves. In the brain, the feeds on mind tissues, e.g. Astrocytes and neurons, and thereby causes naegleriasis (or main amoebic meningoencephalitis), which have the right to be sudden, severe, and also fatal to the host.

See also


Biosystematics, Structure and also Functions the Invertebrates. Retrieved from Alberts Eds.; et al. (2007). Molecular Biology the the Cell fifth Edition. New York: Garland Science. P. 1037. Lahr, D. J., Parfrey, L. W., Mitchell, E. A., Katz, L. A., & Lara, E. (July 2011). “The chastity the amoebae: re-evaluating evidence for sex in amoeboid organisms”. Proc. Biol. Sci. 278 (1715): 2083–6. Hofstatter, P. G., Brown, M. W., & Lahr, D. J. G. (November 2018). “Comparative dielectrics Supports Sex and also Meiosis in varied Amoebozoa”. Genome Biol Evol. 10 (11): 3118–3128. Pawlowski, J. (2008). The twilight of Sarcodina: a molecule perspective top top the polyphyletic origin of amoeboid protists. Protistology, tape 5, S. 281–302. Https://


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