Temporal range: 1000–0 Ma
Lühe, 1913 emend. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
|Subphyla, infraphyla and classes|
They are a major group with about 2,400 described species of amoeboid protists. In most classification schemes, Amoebozoa is ranked as a phylum in either the kingdom Protista or the kingdom Protozoa. In the classification of the International Society of Protistologists, it is kept as an unranked "supergroup" in the Eukaryota.
Sequence analysis shows Amoebozoa is a monophyletic clade. Most phylogenetic trees identify it as the sister group to Opisthokonta. That is another major clade which contains both Fungi and Animals as well as some 300 species of unicellular protists. Amoebozoa and Opisthokonta are sometimes grouped together in a high-level taxon, variously named Unikonta, Amorphea, or Opimoda.
Most are unicellular, and are common in soils and aquatic habitats. Some are symbionts of other organisms, including several pathogens. The Amoebozoa also include the mycetozoan slime moulds, multinucleate or multicellular forms which produce spores and are usually visible to the unaided eye.
The nutrition is usually by phagocytosis. The cell surrounds food particles, sealing them into vacuoles where they are digested and absorbed. When food is scarce, most species form cysts, which may be carried by air to other places. In slime moulds, these structures are called spores, and form on stalked structures called fruiting bodies or sporangia.
Most Amoebozoa lack flagella and more generally do not form microtubule-supported structures except during mitosis. However, flagella occur among some archamoebae, and many slime moulds produce biflagellate gametes.
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