Amoeba proteus

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Amoeba proteus

Domain; Eukaryota,

Kingdom; Amoebozoa,

Phylum; Tubulinea,

Class; Loboda,

Order; Tubulinea,

family; Amoebidae,

Genus; Amoeba,

Species; Proteus,


Amoeba proteus

Description and Significance

Amoeba proteus gets its name through two Greek words; Amoeba meaning change and proteus meaning Sea God. The Greek meaning describes this microbe as the Sea God Proteus that has an ever changing shape. Its ability to change shape is from the pseudopodia, which are common in eukaryotic microbes. The pseudopodia grants the microbe an ability to extend and contract in any shape possible. This extending and contracting is from the reversible assembly of actin sub-unites into microfilaments. Contraction is caused by the filaments near the cell's end interact with myosin. While extension is caused by the actin reassembling itself back into its body. This is how the Amoeba proteus moves around.

Other than its pseudopodia, the Amoeba proteus can be described as unicellular, colorless, or transparent. The average size of an Amoeba proteus varies around from .2 to .3 mm in diameter but larger forms have been found measuring up to .5 mm in diameter which is visible to the eye. Amoeba proteus prefers to habitat clean pounds of highly oxygenated fresh water. It is found in large food webbed ecosystems that contain lots of algae and plants. Since it hates light it will take cover under anything that gives off shade, usually lilly pads.

Catching the Amoeba proteus is fairly easy because of its attraction to wheat products. Leaving a jar full of rice that has been cooked for around 1 min will attract this microbe and even create a reproducing environment for it. With just a few days lots of Amoeba proteus will be caught and spawned in your jar. Culturing this microbe is also fairly simple. It can be done by creating a pound like environment with leaves, fresh clean water, mud and a few wheat grains. Amoeba has been obtained in a laboratory in a variety of forms such as organic ooze from decaying vegetation and on the lower surface of lilly pads.


Genome Structure

The genome for Amoeba proteus is very large with over 290 billion base pairs in its genome with 34% of these base pairs being GC. Its length is 3,869 nt and it is circular with three proteins. The amoeba proteus is considered a polyploidy because of it has more than 500 chromosomes in a single nucleus. Here is an example of what a polyploidy looks like.

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

Interesting features of cell structure; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.

Ecology and Pathogenesis

Habitat; symbiosis; biogeochemical significance; contributions to environment.
If relevant, how does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.


"Alpha Proteobacterium Endosymbiont of Amoeba Proteus Plasmid PAP3.9, Complete Sequence." Alpha Proteobacterium Endosymbiont of Amoeba Proteus Plasmid PAP3.9, Complete Sequence. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <>.

"Amoeba Proteus." Amoeba Proteus. Langston Middle School. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. <>.

Bhamrah, H.s. "An Introduction to Protozoa." Google Books. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <>.

"The Polyploidy Portal." Main Page - The Polyploidy Portal. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <>.


Page authored by Jules Patry and Megan Robb, student of Prof. Jay Lennon at Michigan State University.

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