Slime molds that farm bacteria

January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wired Science has a cool post on evidence that some strains of Dictyostelium discoideum carry bacteria around with them, apparently to seed them into new environments so that their progeny can later be eaten.

Dicty is an fascinating little organism that often lives as a single-celled amoeba.  When food gets scarce communities of the single cells accumulate together and make a multi-celled slug, which can then travel off in search of food.  The new evidence suggests that the single cells can also cooperate to integrate food bacteria into the slug for transport; which means that they are deciding not to eat every last bacterium they have access to, and instead saving some for later farming.  Some strains (“farmer strains”) consistently do this, others don’t. How interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Slime molds that farm bacteria at It Takes 30.


%d bloggers like this: