An international network of/for intelligent organisms
Hi! I'm starting some slime mold experimentation and had a silly question. Has anyone dried feeding grapes/other fruit to their slime mold (specifically physarum polycephalum) and did the slime mold eat it? I gave mine a grape (a bit squished so the inside was accessible) and it's not engulfing it which makes me think it's not interested. Right where the grape split, however, there's a small concentration of the slime mold, so I wonder if it went inside the grape?
Also: how important is lab sterilization? I'm basing this project out of my room and people's photos and videos of people in labs tend to show people working without gloves and not overly worried about if the slime mold is uncovered. I have agar plates so avoiding too much interaction or possible contamination is a good idea, but just how careful would you recommend being?
Hi and welcome
You don't need sterility or gloves, your agar shouldn't have any nutrients so won't grow stuff much if you touch it. I keep mine on paper for convenience and feed uncooked oats straight out of the bag with a spray of tap water. They are harmless - I've accidentally ingested them a couple of times, not gonna be the latest food craze though and I get them on my hands more or less every day
As for the grape, you've given your slime a choice of foods, they like sugars but they prefer something with a bit of protein, it looks like it's investigating the grape but the oats are a better food source. I bet it'll get keener on the grape once the oats are digested