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Cellular slime mold life cycle Animation

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Life cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum, a cellular slime mold Animation. Amoeba-like slime mold cells live in the soil, where they feed on bacteria. The free-living cells grow and reproduce by mitosis. When food dwindles, the amoebas stream toward one another in response to a chemical signal. As the cells aggregate, their plasma membranes become sticky and they adhere to one another. A cellulose sheath forms around the cells. The aggregation may assume a migratory slug-like form that includes as many as 100,000 amoebas. As the slug migrates, the cells within it differentiate. When migration ends, the cells form a stalked, spore-bearing structure. When conditions are right, these spores will give rise to free-living amoebas.

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