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Slime mould spore germination. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a spore (white) of a slime mould (Lycogala sp.) germinating to produce a single-celled myxamoeba (red). 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 classed as a separate group. Magnification: x5000 at 6x6cm size.
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