An international network of/for intelligent organisms
I teach biology and have used slime molds in my classes. I would like to branch out a bit beyond the acellular species commercially available--ie, Physarum polycephalum. Specifically, I'd like to do some experimentation with interspecies compatibility/behavior and perhaps adapt it to classroom exercises. I spent many months this past summer looking for slime mold lurking in garden mulch (eg, Fuligo septica) or on forest floors, alas to no avail. I have also spent an excessive amount of time surfing the internet looking for commercial sources for mold other than Physarum, which is very easy to come by. Does anyone have info pertaining to availability of different varieties, such as Fuligo, Hemitrichia, or Badhamia? Of course, I am also totally green as to what conditions would be required for their survival under laboratory conditions.
Thanks for any help!
Hi Stephen, welcome! Steve Stephenson (what's in a name I guess ;-)) and others describe the moist-chamber culture technique to bring wild (and often hard to see) myxomycetes to fruition, e.g. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3669571 . This worked for me as well. I have not managed yet get the resulting spores to hatch, would love to hear it if you succeed.
Good luck, Jan-Maarten
I agree with Jan-Maarten that the moist chamber technique would be the best way to introduce students to species other than P. polycephalum. I tried it once with almost immediate results. (I live in a forest in northern Tasmania and have access to a rich array of myxos so I have no need to persist with moist chambers). I wrote something about the technique:
There's a link at the bottom of my article to further information about the technique by David Mitchell.
it's pretty exciting when species start appearing,
Good luck, Sarah
I'd love to get my hands on some. How might this be possible? And are there special conditions for keeping it viable in the lab?
Yes, I keep my Badhamia utricularis plates at home without problems from October. You must only add oat flakes and water into the Petri, avoiding the exposition to the light. If you send me a PM I'll give you some details.
I take it cultivation is essentially the same as Physarum polycephalum, then? Would you mind if I PM as well?
yes, it's very simple and probably easier than Physarum. I've some kit with this located strain for 24 GBP incl. shipment.
I will have to check the laws about importing these types of molds, but if it's legal or simple then I am definitely interested.
I'd like to get some, but would you accept an institutional credit card? If so, how would I go about ordering it?
Hi, Steve. As said by Lynn, is better to know first if the import in other countries is legal.
Do you still have any badhamia cultures ? I need some urgently for university project, would be great if you have some more left ! Let me know please, thanks