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Fairly common in marine environments. Labyrinthula has not been included in past literature concerned with marine amoebae but has been included here as it has many amoeboid features, and frequently appears in cultures when one is attempting to isolate marine amoebae (Rogerson & Gwaltney, 2000). Labyrinthula is classified as being a Heterokont on the basis of the morphology of the zoospores (Sleigh, 1989), an ongoing study into the phylogenetic position of Labyrinthula has been undertaken by Professor David Porter's Lab, more recently relate members,  Thraustochytrium, Labyrinthuloides and Labyrinthula sp itself have been studied and determined to form a monophylectic group within the Heterokonta (Honda et al, 2000).

Labyrinthula zosterae is the causitive agent in the Zostera marina wasting disease (Muehlstein et al, 1991).


The morphology of Labyrinthula is intriguing, the nuclei are transported along "slimeways" actin-rich tracks in the cellular extensions that work with myosins (Dietz & Schnetter, 1999) presumably on the nuclear membranes (Preston et al, 2000).  This arrangement, and the appearance of Labyrinthula in general is superficially like that of Reticulamyxa.  However the "slimeways" of Reticulamyxa are microtubule based.



Dietz, C. & Schnetter, R. (1999). "Interaction of two myosins with microfilaments causes locomotion in Labyrinthula sp." Protoplasma 206: 97-104.

Honda, D., Yokochi, T., Nakahara, T., Raghukumar, S., Nakagiri, A., Schaumann, K. & Higashihara, T. (1999). "Molecular phylogeny of Labyrinthulids and Thraustochytrids based on the seuencing of 18S ribosomal RNA gene." J.Euk.Microbiol. 46(6), 637-647.

Muelstein, .L.K., Porter, D., and Short, F.T. (1991). "Labyrinthula zosterae sp. nov., the causative agent of wasting disease of eelgrass, Zostera marina. Mycology 83: 180-191.

Perkins, F.O. & Amon, J.P. (1969). "Zoosporulation in Labyrinthula sp. ; an electron microscopy study." J.Protozool. 16: 235-257.

Pokorny, K.S. (1967). "Labyrinthula". J.Protozool. 14(4): 697-708.

Porter, D. (1969). "Ultrastructure of Labyrinthula." Protoplasma 67: 1-19.

Porter, D. (1972). "Cell division in the marine slime mold, Labyrinthula sp.,and the role of the bothrosome in extracellular production." Protoplasma 74: 427-448.

Preston, T.M., Baines, I.C. & Kings, C.A. (1992). "The gliding motility of the cellular slime mold Labyrinthula: a possible cytoskeletal motor". Eur.J.Protozool. 36: 365-372.

Rogerson, A. & Gwaltney, C. (2000). "High numbers of naked amoebae in planktonic waters of a mangrove stand in Southern Florida, USA." J.Euk.Microbiol. 47(3): 235-241.

Sleigh, M. (1989). "Protozoa and other protists." Edward Arnold Publ. London. p138.

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