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Physarum sporangia

J. E. Armstrong jearmstr at ilstu.edu
Sat Feb 7 11:38:34 EST 1998

Lamberts, William wrote:
> Plant-edders
> I am planning a lab involving the acellular slime mold Physarum.  I would like
> my students to be able to observe the sporangia.  Can anyone tell what
> conditions will induce the formation of sporangia?
Once a plasmodium reaches a reasonable size, exposure to light and a
little less water will cause sporulation. I raise them on #1 filter
paper in the lid of a disposable petri dish (yes, use it upside down).
The filter paper should be wet, but no excess moisture.  Feed the
plasmodium a few grains of rolled oats. I keep the plates in plastic
bags in a drawer.  I transfer the plasmodium to new filter paper (cut
out the plasmodium bearing portion) every 3d day.  To see cytoplasmic
streaming transfer a plasmodium to a thin layer of oatmeal agar & when
the plasmodium has streamed off the paper & onto the agar, the entire
plate can be put under a microscope.  The spores will germinate into
amoeboid gametes on oatmeal agar, but they're very small.  Oh yes,
sterile conditions don't matter much, the slime mold consumes bacteria
and other molds.

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