A morphogen for the sporulation of Physarum polycephalum detected by cell fusion experiments

Exp Cell Res. 1986 Dec;167(2):453-7. doi: 10.1016/0014-4827(86)90185-0.


The light stimulus, which under conditions of starvation induces the development of sporangia in the slime mold Physarum polycephalum, can be transferred from the light-exposed part to the unexposed part of a plasmodium by means of plasma circulation. A small quantity of protoplasm from a sporulating donor plasmodium, which had passed through the premorphogenetic phase, was transferred by a short period fusion with a briefly starved, light-induction-incompetent acceptor plasmodium. This led to sporulation and even to a reduction of the premorphogenetic phase from 9 down to 3 h in the acceptor plasmodium. After fusion with a sporulating plasmodium, a highly starved plasmodium from a non-sporogenic culture line or a growing plasmodium from a normal line prevents further morphogenesis of sporangia in the sporulating partner.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Fusion*
  • Light
  • Morphogenesis
  • Physarum / growth & development*
  • Spores, Fungal*