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Slime mould spores. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of spores from the slime mould Trichia favoginea. Slime moulds are not fungi, but a separate group with a variety of complex life cycles. These spores will germinate into free-living, single-celled forms: myxamoebas in drier conditions or flagellated swarm cells in a wetter environment. Pairs of these cells will eventually fuse to form a zygote. The zygote grows into a plasmodium, a multinucleated mass of protoplasm that is effectively a giant cell. This stage resembles a slimy, colourful fungus, but it is capable of slow movement to find food. Magnification: x1350 at 6x6cm size.
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