The Slime Mould Collective

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Help with myxamoeba encystment and plasmodia formation

Recently, I’ve been trying to grow hemitrichia sp. and stemonitis spp. from spores harvested from the wild. I’ve had success in getting the spores to germinate, but I haven’t been able to get the amoeba to form plasmodia. Another problem that I’ve been having is that a couple days after germinating, all of the myxamoeba in the culture will randomly encyst. This may be why I haven’t had luck getting plasmodia as the amoeba don’t stay amoeba long enough to form one, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ve tried culturing the amoeba on both 2% water agar and carrot agar. The incubator I keep the cultures in consistently varies between 24-26 degrees C. And 93-99% RH. (The temp. And RH might not be entirely accurate due to the hygro-thermometer I’m using, but they are pretty close). 

I’d greatly appreciate any help on how to prevent myxamoeba from encrusting, and encouraging the myxamoeba to form plasmodia.

Thanks in advance.

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Feed them bugs! the myxamoeba like a lawn of bacteria to feed off - I make a suspension of 1 oat per ml in water, let it sit a few days and pipette about 50 microlitres onto the dish when I add spores.  It can takes weeks to months for plasmodia to form and not all species are able to do a full life cycle in the petri dish. You can also try adding host substrate bits to the agar - Enteridium need something from alder bark to form plasmodia. Cutting your agar into sectors or squares in the dish can also help by forcing them to crowd - there's some sort of quorum signal involved. 

Good luck!


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