Dictyostelium discoideum Protocols

Volume 983 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 1-15


The Amoebozoa

  • Christina SchildeAffiliated withCollege of Life Sciences, University of Dundee
  • , Pauline SchaapAffiliated withCollege of Life Sciences, University of Dundee Email author 


The model organism Dictyostelium discoideum is a member of the Amoebozoa, one of the six major ­divisions of eukaryotes. Amoebozoa comprise a wide variety of amoeboid and flagellate organisms with single cells measuring from 5 μm to several meters across. They have adopted many different life styles and sexual behaviors and can live in all but the most extreme environments. This chapter provides an overview of Amoebozoan diversity and compares roads towards multicellularity within the Amoebozoa with inventions of multicellularity in other protist divisions. The chapter closes with a scenario for the evolution of Dictyostelid multicellularity from an Amoebozoan stress response.

Key words

Amoebozoa Protista Aggregative multicellularity Encystation Sporulation Morphogenesis Cyclic AMP signaling Phylogeny