Abeoforma whisleri

abeoforma whisleri

Abeoforma whisleri is a single-celled eukaryote, member of the Ichthyosporea clade within the Teretosporea, which is the earliest branching holozoan lineage (Glocking et al. 2013) (Torruella et al. 2015).24228493725_6355796e9b_o

A. whisleri was isolated from the digestive tract of a marine invertebrate, specifically the filter-feeding mussel Mytilus sp, (Marshall &Berbee 2011). It has a very complex cycle yet to be resolved. It includes several different cell stages, ranging from amoebodial, hyphal-like and plasmodial stages, which can present filopodia-like (pseudopodia) structures. It also presents coenocytic spherical stages with prominent vacuoles and several nuclei (Marshall &Berbee 2010). All of those stages undergo dramatic morphological changes and have a cell wall (except for the amoeboid stage).

A. whisleri can easily be cultured axenically in marine broth medium. Given its phylogenetic position as a close unicellular relative of animals and its high capacity to modify cell morphology, it could potentially provide important insights both into the origin of multicellular animals and into the control of cell shape in eukaryotes.


-Glockling SL, Marshall WL, Gleason FH. (2013). Phylogenetic interpretations and ecological potentials of the Mesomycetozoea (Ichthyosporea). Fungal Ecology, vol.6, 4, 2013,pp 237-247.

-Marshall, Wyth L., David J.; Berbee, Mary L. (2011) “Facing Unknowns: Living Cultures (Pirum gemmata gen. nov., sp. nov., and Abeoforma whisleri, gen. nov., sp. nov.) from Invertebrate Digestive Tracts Represent an Undescribed Clade within the Unicellular Opisthokont Lineage Ichthyosporea (Mesomycetozoea)”. Protist, Vol. 162.

-Torruella, G., de Mendoza, A., Grau-Bové, X., Antó, M., Chaplin, M. A., del Campo, J., Eme, L., Pérez-Cordón, G., Whipps, C., Nichols, K. M., Paley, R., Roger, A. J., Sitjà-Bobadilla, A., Donachie, S., and Ruiz-Trillo, I. (2015). Phylogenomics reveals convergent evolution of lifestyles in close relatives of animals and fungi. Current Biology 25(18):2404-10.