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An Extracellular Inducer of Asexual Plasmodium Formation in Physarum polycephalum

Philip J. Youngman, Paul N. Adler, Thomas M. Shinnick and Charles E. Holt
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 74, No. 3 (Mar., 1977), pp. 1120-1124
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/66353
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Extracellular Inducer of Asexual Plasmodium Formation in Physarum polycephalum
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Abstract

Asexual conversion of amoebae to plasmodia was studied in the Colonia isolate of the myxomycete, Physarum polycephalum. When a culture of Colonia amoebae is grown on a bacterial lawn, a period of amoebic growth precedes the appearance of cells committed to the plasmodial state. The onset of plasmodium production appears to be related to amoebic nutrition since cultures supplied with fewer bacteria display earlier differentiation. For a period of time after differentiation is initiated, conversion of amoebae to plasmodia is rapid and proceeds as an exponential function of time. A filter-transmissible substance, apparently released by differentiating cells, is implicated in the control of this rapid conversion.

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