Utility in research
Slime molds like Physarum polycephalum are useful for studying cytoplasmic streaming. They have also been used to study the biochemical events that surround mitosis, since all the nuclei in a medium-sized plasmodium divide in synchrony. It has been observed that they can find their way through mazes by spreading out and choosing the shortest path, an interesting example of information processing without a nervous system. Myxomycete plasmodia have also been used to study the genetics of asexual cell fusion. The giant size of the plasmodial cells allows for easy evaluation of complete or partial cell fusion.
In 2006, researchers at the University of Southampton and the University of Kobe reported that they had built a six-legged robot whose movement was remotely controlled by a Physarum slime mold. The mold directed the robot into a dark corner most similar to its natural habitat.
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Slime mold on lawn, USA. Trail of movement can be seen.
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- Whittaker, R. H. (1969). New concepts of kingdoms or organisms. Science 163 (3863): 150–160.
- "Mycetozoa - Definition from Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary". Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- Baldauf SL, Doolittle WF (October 1997). "Origin and evolution of the slime molds (Mycetozoa)". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94 (22): 12007–12. PMC 23686. PMID 9342353. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.22.12007.
- "Robot moved by a slime mould's fears - tech - 13 February 2006 - New Scientist". Retrieved 2009-03-27.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mycetozoa.|
- Slime Molds
- Slime Mold Solves Maze Puzzle from abc.net.au
- Hunting Slime Molds from Smithsonian Magazine
- "Robot Piloted by a Slime Mold". Slashdot. 2006. Retrieved February 15, 2006.
- dictyBase is an online informatics resource for Dictyostelium, a cellular slime mould.
- nomen.eumycetozoa.com is an online nomenclatural information system of slime moulds (Myxomycetes, Dictyostelids and Protostelids) of the world.
- Photo gallery
- Introduction to the "Slime Molds"
- Slime Mold Photos Life cycle of Reticularia lycoperdon at MushooMania.com.