Biodiversity and Intra-Genomic Variation of Amoebozoa Based on Small Subunit rDNA (18S)

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Abstract Summary

Amoebozoa includes unicellular eukaryotic microbes that use pseudopodia to move and to feed. They are diverse, occupying many habitats including freshwater and marine environments as well as parasites affecting humans and other livestock. The biodiversity of Amoebozoa is mostly studied at a molecular level using small subunit (SSU) rDNA 18S; however, the study is biased towards medically important amoebae. Recent work in molecular systematics of Amoebozoa has generated large sequence data, but no study has analyzed a comprehensive phylogeny using the large number of 18S data available. This research project collected and analyzed over 4000 18S sequences to build a phylogenetic tree and examine the intra-genomic variation of 18S in Amoebozoa. The collected information showed that some groups such as Tubulinea are underrepresented when compared to other groups such Discosea and Evosea. To get a more accurate representation of amoeba and their relationship with each other as it pertains to the 18S gene, more data has to be collected on the certain groups of amoebae that are understudied. This study also revealed intragenomic variation of 18S in few amoebae species raning from 0.1-2.6%. While the observed intragenomic variation of 18S is lower than expected, it is worth to consider this variance when building phylogenetic tree and DNA barcoding using this marker.





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