Physarum sporangia

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Fri Feb 6 16:15:30 EST 1998

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
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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