JANE SHEMILT, COSINE GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JANE SHEMILT, COSINE GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer graphics image showing the life cycle of a cellular slime mould (order Acrasiales). The life cycle begins with the release of spores from a fruiting body or sorocarp (far left). Each spore germinates to form a single-celled amoeba- like organism which feeds on bacteria and decaying organic matter. The amoebae grow and divide until the food supply begins to run out, when they stream together and coalesce to form a pseudo- plasmodium (top). The colony then behaves as a single unit; a nipple-like structure forms on the top of the pseudoplasmodium (lower right) & grows to form another spore-bearing sorocarp (left).
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