Monday, 10 May 2010

Researching the context....Background Info on The Mold In Question?!?!?

After deciding to choose to animate 'The Life Of A Slime Mold, it became obvious, that I'd need more than a diagram to try and translate this information, that said, I myslef would need a futher understanding in order to create a more sucessful, and informative animation , to project onto my auidence, as well as combine the research into the scenarios within....

Within the actual scenario itself, there are two possible paths I could take whilst exploring the life of a 'Slime Mold', one, the sexual cycle of a slime mold, the other focusing on the formation of mulitcelluar structures known as 'Fruiting Bodies' from which release spores....the latter seemingly more intresting than the prior...

As a result, I'll be focusing my research material primarily on the 'Fruiting Bodies/Spore' aspect of the cycles.

Interestingly, there are two main subdivions within the slime mold catagory, known as Plasmodial, and Cellular...along witha third, known as Labyrinthulomycota or slime nets.......

Plasmodial Slime Mold (Excerpt):

Plasmodial slime molds, like Physarum shown here, are basically enormous single cells with thousands of nuclei. They are formed when individual flagellated cells swarm together and fuse. The result is one large bag of cytoplasm with many diploid nuclei. These "giant cells" have been extremely useful in studies of cytoplasmic streaming (the movement of cell contents) because it is possible to see this happening even under relatively low magnification. In addition, the large size of the slime mold "cell" makes them easier to manipulate than most cells.

To expand upon what was said, Plasmodia are able to grow to the diameter of several inches, often brightly covered. Thier main food supply consisting of Microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeasts, as well as decaying vegetaion. they ingest solid food particles, envolving a process called 'phagocytosis'

Prior to enterting the reproductive stage, the plasmodium searches for a drier, better-lit place, for example, on top of a log, then when the suitable area is found, the plasmodium transforms into a more reproductive structure known as a 'Fruting Body'

Each Fruiting body consists of a stalk topped by a spore-producing capsule that resembles the reproductive structures of many fungi. Eventually the cellulose-walled spores are released and dispersed; they germinate in wet places, releasing naked cells. In a typical plasmodial slime mold the germinated spores go through an amoeboid or flagellated swimming stage, followed by sexual fusions and cell divisions. The diploid ameboid cell (i.e., the zygote) grows and its nucleus divides repeatedly, resulting in the formation of a new plasmodium. Under adverse conditions a plasmodium may be transformed into a hard, dry, inactive mass called a sclerotium. Resistant to desiccation, it becomes a plasmodium again when favorable

Cellular Slime Mold (Excerpt)

Cellular slime molds, spend most of their lives as separate single-celled amoeboid protists, but upon the release of a chemical signal, the individual cells aggregate into a great swarm. Cellular slime molds are thus of great interest to cell and developmental biologists, because they provide a comparatively simple and easily manipulated system for understanding how cells interact to generate a multicellular organism. There are two groups of cellular slime molds, the Dictyostelida and the Acrasida, which may not be closely related to each other.

To expand upon this futher, the Cellular Slime mold spends most of it's life as an individual amoeboid cell, howver, once a chemical signal is released, the invidual cells aggregate into a great swarm, which can consist of up to 125,000, flowing together, forming a multicellular mass knwon as a psuedoplasmodium, closly resembling a slug, crawling about, ingesting simmilar food types as the 'plasmodial' slime mold, prior to searching for a loaction with suitable warmth and brightness.

After cosying up to suitable habitat, the Cellular Mold follows simmilar pattern to the Plasmodial, by creating a more reproductive state known as a 'Fruiting Body', releasing spores that mecome single amoeboid cells, tha again, feed indiviually until straving cells release chemical signals, causing aggregation into a new pseudoplasmodium once again repeating the process.


I think from researching the two types of slime mold, that each could house different scenarios, but I feel that the 'Cellular Slime Mold, with the whole 'Chemical Release' stage, just has the upper hand in terms of making the piece more intresting, and has room to play with...so that would be my choice out of the two....


Sites used as resource information
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/protista/slimemolds.html
http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/S/slime_mold.html

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