slime moulds


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Related to slime moulds: cellular slime molds, Water molds

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 ?
In some conditions, slime moulds switch to a completely different form and their colourful reproductive bodies appear on the surface of rotten wood, plant debris or earth and this is what the visitor spotted at Castle Eden Dene.
His interests have included the synthesis of RNA in early embryos, the movement of mesenchyme cells during gas- trulation, and cell determination in slime moulds.
The slime moulds are not intelligent as we understand it, but by flexibly responding to stresses like light, and adapting, they are able to solve navigation problems that would perplex computers.