<mycology> A member of the Myxomycetes or acellular slime moulds. Normally exists as a multinucleate plasmodium that may be many centimetres across, but if starved and stimulated by light will produce spores that later germinate to produce amoeboid cells, myxamoebae, which may transform into flagellated swarm cells.

Either of these cell types may fuse to produce a zygote that forms the plasmodium by synchronous nuclear division. Easily grown in the laboratory and much used for studies on cytoplasmic streaming and on the cell cycle because they show synchronous DNA synthesis and nuclear division).

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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