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Physarum sporangia

James W. Perry jperry at UWC.EDU
Fri Feb 6 19:02:48 EST 1998

Ross, et al., 

To form a scelrotium, prepare a massive culture as I previously described.
Decant excess water and replace the glass cover with brown wrapping paper
(such as a grocery bag). I uses to wrap the whole culture dish. Incubate
the culture below 25 degrees C in darkness. After 7-10 days of gradual
drying the plasmodium should aggregate into a thick, spongy sclerotium.
Test its viability by placing it on moistened filter paper or water agar.
If viable, cut the dried, filter paper containing scelrotium into ~1 cm
squares, place in an envelope and store in a refrigerator.

There's a drawing in the Prep Guide for Lab. Topics in Botany (Eichhorn,
Perry and Evert, Worth Publishers.)


At 01:15 PM 2/6/98 -0800, you wrote:
>At 3:34 PM -0500 2/6/98, Lamberts, William wrote:
>>I am planning a lab involving the acellular slime mold Physarum.  I would l=
>>my students to be able to observe the sporangia.  Can anyone tell what
>>conditions will induce the formation of sporangia?
>Physarum does this spontaneously in my hands and most
>typically as it runs out of nutrients and I allow
>the plasmodium to dry out too slowly to form a
>Try this: grow a large plasmodium on 2% agar in a Petri
>dish feeding oat flakes.  After it fills the dish,
>stop the feedings and remove excess flakes. Leave
>it open without a cover and allow the agar to dry out.
>The agar allows a slow dry which usually prompts sporangium
>formation for me.
>My problem has been trying to get the plasmodium to
>reliably form a sclerotium that can be stored between
>semesters.  Culture on paper and rapid drying seems
>to be the only way that even partially works and then
>I often get sclerotium that does not seem to "reanimate"
>after storage. So I'd appreciate comment on that topic.
>Ross Koning                 | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
>Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
>Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
>Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479
>Electronic services composed and served from =95Macintosh hardware.

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