Slime Molds

  • R. Kenneth Horst
Reference work entry


Slime molds belong to the Myxomycetes, a group intermediate between bacteria and fungi. Their assimilative phase is a plasmodium, which is transformed into distinct fructifications on a substratum. They are not parasitic and are often found in rotting logs. Sometimes they are a nuisance in lawns, for the plasmodium after ingesting decayed organic matter or microorganisms for food moves up a grass blade for fruiting. Their spores are produced on or in aerial sporangia and are spread by wind. On absorbing water the spore cracks open and the contents escape as a swarmspore, sometimes two, with two flagella. The swarmspore ingests food like an amoeba, divides by fission into a myxamoeba, unites with another to form a zygote, which enlarges, with mitotic division, into a multinucleate plasmodium. There are many species. Two only are listed here, as being common on turf.


Organic Matter Plant Pathology Group Intermediate Mitotic Division Slime Mold 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kenneth Horst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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