Amoeboid protist systematics: A report on the "Systematics of amoeboid protists" symposium at the VIIIth ECOP/ISOP meeting in Rome, 2019

Eur J Protistol. 2020 Oct;76:125727. doi: 10.1016/j.ejop.2020.125727. Epub 2020 Jul 10.


Amoeboid protists are extremely abundant and diverse in natural systems where they often play outstanding ecological roles. They can be found in almost all major eukaryotic divisions, and genomic approaches are bringing major changes in our perception of their deep evolutionary relationships. At fine taxonomic levels, the generalization of barcoding is revealing a considerable and unsuspected specific diversity that can be appreciated with careful morphometric analyses based on light and electron microscopic observations. We provide examples on the difficulties and advances in amoeboid protists systematics in a selection of groups that were presented at the VIIIth ECOP/ISOP meeting in Rome, 2019. We conclude that, in all studied groups, important taxonomical rearrangements will certainly take place in the next few years, and systematics must be adapted to incorporate these changes. Notably, nomenclature should be flexible enough to integrate many new high level taxa, and a unified policy must be adopted to species description and to the establishment of types.

Keywords: Cercozoa; Lobose amoebae; Myxomycetes; Taxonomy; Testate amoebae.