slime moulds

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slime moulds

a group of organisms with characteristics of both fungi and animals. Cellular slime moulds can exist as individual amoeboid cells feeding on bacteria and fungi by PHAGOCYTOSIS. Under unfavourable conditions, an individual cell secretes cAMP, which attracts other cells towards it, so that the cells aggregate to form a single structure. This becomes enclosed in a slimy sheath (slug). Spores are formed and germinate when conditions become favourable, to form single amoeboid cells. Plasmodial slime moulds are acellular and exist as a mass of protoplasm with many nuclei, which moves like a giant amoeba (see MYXOMYCOTA). Slime moulds are grouped in the kingdom PROTISTA in the five kingdom CLASSIFICATION system. However, they have been grouped in the MYCOTA in some classifications. In modern classifications they are in the DOMAIN EUCARYA.
References in periodicals archive ?
For most of their lifespan slime moulds are amoeba-like, living in dark and humid habitats and serving a vital role by incorporating and digesting algae and bacteria.
For example, the concluding essay in The Uses of Slime Mould opens with a passage that appears, almost word for word, early in Inventing God as part of a lecture by one of the characters, Carl Andros, a professor of biology.
Yellow slime mould is known to follow traces of sweetness to locate food.
They used Physarum polycephalum, a yellow slime mould normally found growing in piles of rotten leaves and logs, to try to provide an alternative to conventional road planning methods.
In recent years, single-celled organisms have been used to control six-legged robots, but according to a report in New Scientist, Andrew Adamatzky at UWE wants to go one step further by making a complete "robot" out of a plasmodium slime mould, Physarum polycephalum, a commonly occurring mould that moves towards food sources such as bacteria and fungi, and shies away from light.
The amoeba species Dictyostelium discoideum lives in slime moulds in the soil.