This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: As long as a food supply is adequate and other environmental conditions are optimal, a slime mold grows indefinitely in its plasmodial stage. However, if conditions become harsh, the plasmodium can join with other plasmodia to form a large sluglike mass. This giant plasmodium can transform itself into a spore-bearing structure similar to a fungus. A stalk arises from the plasmodium, and nuclei within the stalk cells divide by meiosis. Knobs called sporangia develop at the end of the stalk and fill with haploid spores. The spores are shed and removed by the wind when the stalk dries. Eventually, the spores germinate into flagellated swarm cells. Swarm cells function as gametes and fuse to form a diploid zygote, which divides by mitosis and forms a new plasmodium. The plasmodium represents the new generation of slime mold....
View Full Document
- Fall '07