Jumping fungus

Richard Gordon gordonr at cc.UManitoba.CA
Sat Jun 14 23:22:31 EST 1997


From: "P. A. Defossez" <pad at mit.edu>
Subject: Re: Jumping fungus
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 18:32:49 -0400
>DOES ANYONE KNOW
>
>A. What is known about the mechanism of launching spores. Is it a
>torsional stress like in plant seed pods or is it an active (actin?)
>mechanism?
>
>David Sinclair

Dear David,
I worked out a nonactin mechanism for discobolocysts, which have initial
speeds equal to rifle bullets:

Gordon, R. (1987). A retaliatory role for algal projectiles, with
implications for the mechanochemistry of diatom gliding motility. J. Theor.
Biol. 126, 419-436.

You should be able to calculate initial speeds from the shape, size and
maximum range of the spores, using standard ballistic analysis, and then
compare to the fastest known actin contractions. For the equations you
need, see:

Gordon, R., J. B. Carmichael & F. J. Isackson (1972).  Saltation of plastic
balls in a 'one-dimensional' flume.  Water Resources Res. 8, 444-459.

or most introductory physics textbooks.

Yours, -Dick Gordon

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Richard Gordon, Department of Radiology
University of Manitoba, Health Sciences Centre
820 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9 Canada
Phone: (204) 789-3828,  Fax: (204) 787-2080, Home: (204) 589-0411
E-mail: GordonR at cc.UManitoba.ca





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