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.