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Amoeba agriculture - Comments

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 1 by Neodarwinian

Fascinating! The power of natural selection? It would seem likely as there are two different strategies leading to survival and reproductive success. Other protists doing this? I can't remember if any other protists make tuns or form fruiting bodies.

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 05:43:16 UTC | #581282

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 2 by Vorlund

Wow, what will they be getting up to a few billion years from now?

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 08:09:24 UTC | #581297

Callinectes's Avatar Comment 3 by Callinectes

A few billion years' time? Probably the same thing.

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 10:39:23 UTC | #581351

PurplePanda's Avatar Comment 4 by PurplePanda

Could this be a driving force behind becoming multicellular, or an early step in that process?

(I am not a biologist).

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 11:25:41 UTC | #581377

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 5 by El Bastardo

Comment 2 by Vorlund :

Wow, what will they be getting up to a few billion years from now?

Nothing, once the sun goes nova....

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 12:15:44 UTC | #581398

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 6 by crookedshoes

Slime molds are endlessly fascinating. They can dissociate, stream trough a piece of filter paper, and reassemble on the other side. Their cell walls are made of chitin, the same material that fungal cell walls are made of. They can be poly nucleate. They can spontaneously assemble into a "creeping" plasmodium stage that moves (unlike fungi).

They are broadly thought of as fungal ancestors, and are classified in the protist category. From what I understand they are rather hard to study (they can be uncooperative and hard to hold in a container). Often brightly colored and they have really cool names like Myxomycota, Acrasiomycota and the like.

I have heard (it may be legend) that in England, they resodded a golf course and a huge huge slime mold moved in under the new sod. It was the size of the golf course and genetically identical everywhere they sampled. It brings to reference the "super organism".

Add this fantastic discovery. ALL HAIL THE (not so) LOWLY SLIME MOLD!!!!!!!!

Purple Panda, Multicellularity and eukaryotic development had already happened by the time there are slime molds, but your intuition is very sharp. This type of "behavior" could have given rise to eukaryotes. WANNA read something mind blowing???? Look at Myxothricha paradoxa!!!! We may be "cathing" endosymbiosis in the act!

Neodarwin, Protists are such a diverse bunch, it is almost always safe to say that they "do it all".

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 12:57:23 UTC | #581416

Sample's Avatar Comment 7 by Sample

Some of the most beautiful images I've seen are photographs showing the microscopic details of slime molds.

Comment 6 by crookedshoes

Slime molds are endlessly fascinating.

We have them locally in the Tongass National Forest. Picture seeing a dachshund-sized mass of yellow scrambled eggs on a fallen snag of spruce while hiking and upon returning an hour later finding it had slithered out of sight.

I was fortunate to have an excellent botany teacher in college (Rita, if you are reading, a big thank you).


Thu, 20 Jan 2011 13:09:16 UTC | #581424

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 8 by crookedshoes

Sample, Great link! The pictures make me jealous. I am sitting in a classroom marking exams as it readies (outside) to dump another round of grey snow here on the east coast. Your snow is white. Ours is grey.

Of course you are within viewing distance of Russia.

Anyway, I have had the "luck" to witness the slime mold first hand. One used to drip out of my spigot at an old school I used to teach at. It would drip into my sink every April, spend a week or so eating all the organic shit on my uncleaned glassware (bad habit of mine) then unceremoniously leave. It was bright orange and my students voted to call "him" NED.

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 13:19:01 UTC | #581432

Sample's Avatar Comment 9 by Sample

Of course you are within viewing distance of Russia. crookedshoes

Well, if I can see Russia, you can see the Grand Tetons, which BingTM is displaying today. Sadly, I noticed one of the information boxes (fourth on right) indicates mountain goats being in that range. The likelihood of seeing that non-native, biologically concerning species is, well, unlikely. Mountain goats are much more rewarding to watch outside my window on Mount Bullard. :)

It's a pity that search engine didn't highlight the native bighorn sheep. I don't know how to get this discussion back to slime molds, so if the moderator removes it, so be it. Nice to meet you, btw, I enjoy your posts.


Thu, 20 Jan 2011 13:54:32 UTC | #581453

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 10 by Alan4discussion

Comment 6 by crookedshoes

Slime molds are endlessly fascinating.

I was discussing these years ago with friend who was studying them while doing his Biology degree. He told me some different species could merge into a single individual, but only the dominant species then produced fruiting bodies. Do you know anything about this?

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:21:22 UTC | #581468

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 11 by crookedshoes

Sample, Nice meting you as well. I love when shared interest brings people together. I REALLY love it when those shared interests do not involve HATE.

Alan4, No, I don't but I am all ears! And, now i have something to chase for the day. I'll try to get back to you.

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:53:46 UTC | #581489

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 12 by prettygoodformonkeys

Comment 5 by El Bastardo Nothing, once the sun goes nova....

Nothing that dramatic for us: red giant, to white dwarf, to black dwarf.

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:39:27 UTC | #581517

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 13 by Alan4discussion

Comment 13 by prettygoodformonkeys

Nothing that dramatic for us: red giant, to white dwarf, to black dwarf.

Sorry to but in fellas, but it might get a bit more complicated than that!

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:58:30 UTC | #581526

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 14 by Hendrix is my gOD

Comment 6 by crookedshoes

Add this fantastic discovery. ALL HAIL THE (not so) LOWLY SLIME MOLD!!!!!!!!

AMEN!! Crooked

Just call me "Slime is my gOD"

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:58:56 UTC | #581527

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 15 by crookedshoes

Alan4, some fantastic stuff!! I mean over my head for sure, but well... Math is just the best thing ever!

gOD, Slime.... ooze.... bleb... dreck.... great words

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:05:01 UTC | #581566

ridelo's Avatar Comment 16 by ridelo

Is this different from symbiosis?

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:21:23 UTC | #581576

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 17 by crookedshoes

ridelo, What a super question!!! I mean, it seems more like "domestication"! But, I think it definitely smacks of symbiosis. Awesome thinker! Another cool thing to sit and think about! Thanks!

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:42:53 UTC | #581586

keithapm's Avatar Comment 18 by keithapm

Farming? Brilliant! I suppose I ought to take this a tad more seriously then :-P

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:28:49 UTC | #581614

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 19 by crookedshoes

keithapm, Woody Allen's "tit" stalking the countryside was a spoof of your "blob" and was hilarious.

"Be careful, they usually travel in pairs"

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 20:00:39 UTC | #581668

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 20 by Vorlund

On Comment 5

The sun is about half way through its life, there is time yet for the slime farmers. They might even get to the stage of wondering why they are there and whether they are made in the image of a supreme slime amoeba who designed the bacteria just for them.

Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:36:19 UTC | #581973

Sample's Avatar Comment 21 by Sample

crookedshoes, I saw this article on slime molds today and remembered this discussion. Enjoy.


Wed, 16 Mar 2011 09:31:26 UTC | #603407

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 22 by Helga Vieirch

You know. there is a new story about these social amoebas that is really quite exciting. I will copy a quote from the text of an article about it below:

"A multicellular body like the human body is an incredibly cooperative thing," Queller says, "and sociobiologists have learned that really cooperative things are hard to evolve because of the potential for cheating. "It's the single-cell bottleneck that generates high relatedness among the cells that, in turn, allows them to cooperate, " he says. Our liver cells have no kick against our sperm or egg cells, in other words, because they're all nearly genetically identical descendants of a single fertilized egg.

So, added to the selfish gene, we have now the idea of the selfish but cooperative genome.

And of course, the next step: when did added heterogeneity become a way of increasing diversity through mutation being added for a "test-drive" without risking the whole organism. A voila! Sex! (eventually).

Social communities in higher animals also show cooperative behaviour, but they need to find more complex solutions to the problem of cheaters and freeloaders. That is why group selection is such a difficult concept within evolutionary theory.

Sat, 17 Dec 2011 06:08:09 UTC | #900193