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Photoreceptor Pigment that Induces Differentiation in the Slime Mold Physarum polycephalum

W. Michael Wormington and Robert F. Weaver
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 73, No. 11 (Nov., 1976), pp. 3896-3899
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/66419
Page Count: 4
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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.
Photoreceptor Pigment that Induces Differentiation in the Slime Mold Physarum polycephalum
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Abstract

An extract of small molecules (molecular weight <500) of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum undergoes a shift in ultraviolet-visible absorption spectrum upon illumination. This illumination also confers on the extract the ability to induce sporulation when injected into a starved, unilluminated slime mold. The spectral shift and the appearance of the sporulation-inducing activity both occur regardless of whether the illumination is carried out on an intact slime mold or on the plasmodium-free extract itself. Thin-layer chromatography resolves the slime mold extract into four major visible fractions. One of these has high sporulation-inducing activity after illumination in vitro.

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