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Slime mould spore germination. Spores (reproductive cells, white) of a slime mould (Lycogala sp.) with the single-celled myxamoebae (red) they produce. The free-living myxamoeba is haploid (has one set of chromosomes). This is a plasmodial species: pairs of myxamoebae fuse and grow into a plasmodium, a single, multinucleated cell that can grow to be centimetres across. The plasmodium is slimy and often colourful. It can move slowly, feeding on bacteria and fungi, before producing mushroom-like fruiting bodies that release spores. Slime moulds are not fungi, but are classified as a separate group. Magnification: x1750 at 6x7cm size.
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