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Slime mould spore. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an empty spore of a Lycogala sp. slime mould. The single-celled myxamoeba it produced (not seen) is a free-living amoeba-like stage that is haploid (has one set of chromosomes). 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: x6000 at 6x6cm size.
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