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Spore Change | Physarum Polycephalum

A curious metamorphosis of physarum spore caps is observed when the spores are exposed to dry conditions (no petri dish lid and light). The timelapse was set...

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Comment by Nemo Andrea on May 11, 2019 at 12:08

That sounds like a feasible explaination for what I'm seeing the the video, Jenks! The emerging shaped do indeed appear to be immobile and their fast appearance between frames do suggest it is something non-living.

Comment by Jenks Hehmeyer on May 6, 2019 at 2:06

Fascinating video!

It is known that the different colors of the peridia (outer layer of sporangium) of different species of Physarum come from different calcium-containing compounds (“lime”) on the peridia. Perhaps what we are seeing here is the crystallization of lime due to the loss of water during drying. This seems to occur in Physarum flavicomum: sporangia that develop under dry conditions have yellow limy peridia, while those that develop under humid conditions have iridescent, lime-less peridia.


Aldrich, H.C. 1982. Influence of Inorganic Ions on Color of Lime in the Myxomycetes. Mycologia 72.3: 404-411.

Gray, W. D. 1961. The laboratory cultivation of Physarum flavicomum. American Journal of Botany 48.3: 242-243.

Comment by Nemo Andrea on April 10, 2019 at 20:34

Does anyone know what exactly we are observing here? Is this some kind of germination from the sporangia, or is this an artifact due to the low humidity?

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