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Movies of cellular slime moulds (1)

Links to movies in QuickTime (mac, unix) and avi (wondows) formats (approx. size in kilobytes in parentheses)
and to serial photographs (roughly 1/20 the file size of movies).
Shown in parentheses at the end of each explanation are intervals between frames, duration, and field width (or scale bar).

Growth phase to aggregation and slug migration

Dictyostelium rosarium QuickTime
avi (800)
In these movies, the right-hand side of the visual field is covered with bacteria. Slime mould cells feed on the bacteria and gradually extend their territory towards the right. On the left-hand side where the bacteria have been eaten up, slime mould cells start to aggregate and become multicellular. In the first movie, division of the field of aggregating cells into small units, and in the second movie, propagation of waves of chemotactically responding cells can be seen. The propagating waves are shown at higher space and time resolution in the third movie. (-->more)
Top: Dictyostelium rosarium (8 min, 8 h, 6.25 mm) (c01)
Middle: Polysphondylium violaceum (8 min, 8 h, 6.25 mm) (c02)
Bottom: Polysphondylium violaceum (1 min, 3 h, 3.0 mm) (c02-2)
Polysphondylium violaceum QuickTime
avi (750)
P. violaceum aggregation QuickTime
avi (1250)
P. pallidum development QuickTime
avi (660)
Cells of Polysphondylium pallidum grow, aggregate, and make fruiting bodies on the streak of food bacteria. (16 min, 15 h 44 min, 9.1 mm) (c05)

The movies in the following give more detailed view of the events taking place during the growth and development of various species of the cellular slime mould.

Feeding, cell division, endocytosis

D. rosarium on bacteria lawn QuickTime
avi (950)
Dictyostelium rosarium cells moving about in the bacterial lawn. Five cell divisions can be seen in the movie. The agar plate is covered with bacteria. Since the slime mould cells push aside the bacteria (and eat some of them), their tracks can be seen as white winding paths. (1 min, 90 min, 0.5 mm) (v01)
Dictyostelium cell division QuickTime
avi (640)
Mitosis. The cells shown are of Dictyostelium discoideum. (10 sec, 13 min 40 sec, Scale bar: 10 micrometres) (v02)
Dictyostelium feeding on bacteria QuickTime
avi (830)
A Dictyostelium discoideum cell feeding on bacteria. (5 sec, 8 min 25 sec, Scale bar: 10 micrometres) (v03)

In the following two movies, cells expressing GFP-tagged talin B carboxy-terminal domain are shown. This domain contains conserved motifs that bind to actin filaments. GFP fluorescence, which is shown in green, is considered to represent regions in the cells where actin filaments are densely accumulated.

Dictyostelium feeding on bacteria QuickTime
avi (500)
Phagocytosis. A D. discoideum cell ingesting a yeast cell. Actin filaments accumulate underneath the cell membrane regions touching the yeast cells. After successful ingestion, the accumulated actin filaments dissipate. Dictyostelium cells do not appear to be able to digest these yeast cells. (5 sec, 4 min 15 sec, Scale bar: 5 micrometres) (v04)
Dictyostelium feeding on bacteria QuickTime
avi (420)
Pinocytosis. A D. discoideum cell taking up the nutrient medium containing a red fluoresent dye (TRITC-dextran). The regions with dense accumulation of actin filaments appear yellow. (5 sec, 3 min 40 sec, Scale bar: 10 micrometres) (v05)

Cell aggregation and propagating waves

P. violaceum stream formation QuickTime
avi (550)
This movie shows how scattered cells gather to form streams. Polysphondylium violaceum (1 min, 50 min, 1.3 mm) (a01)
avi (840)
Aggregation of uniformly distributed Dictyostelium discoideum cells. In the beginning of the movie, spiral waves extending outwards can be faintly seen. As aggregation streams form, the entire field becomes divided into aggregation territories. (2 min, 2 h 6 min, 9.4 mm) (a02-1)
avi (680)
Propagating waves are hard to see in the above movie, but can be made clearly visible by taking differences between two successive frames of the movie. Shown here corresponds to the first 2/7 of the above movie. (1 min, 36 min, 9.4 mm) (a02-2)
Dictyostelium discoideum streams QuickTime
avi (540)
Propagation of waves within aggregation streams. Near the bottom left are cells feeding on bacteria. Slightly above are starved cells yet to form streams. Cells are aggregating in the middle region. Several slugs can be seen near the top. Dictyostelium discoideum. (40 sec, 39 min, 7.5 mm) (a03-1)
Dictyostelium discoideum streams QuickTime
avi (550)
Propagating waves have been extracted from the above movie by the same subtraction method. It can be seen that some of the cells near the bottom which are yet to form streams are responding to the chemotactic signals. (40 sec, 39 min, 7.5 mm) (a03-2)

Slug migration and fruiting body formation

Polysphondylium violaceum slug migration QuickTime
avi (620)
A migrating slug of Polysphondylium violaceum viewed from above at an angle. Slugs of most slime mould species that can migrate do so while making a stalk. So they can migrate off the ground, like the one shown here is doing (note its reflection on the agar suface). They must be able to cross a gap very easily in the soil. Length/width of this slug: ca. 1.4/0.14 mm. Approx speed 1.8 mm/h. (1 min, 2 h 26 min, 4.1 mm, viewing angle slightly changed at frame 37) (s09)
Dictyostelium discoideum slug QuickTime
avi (550)
Dictyostelium discoideum slugs migrate without making a stalk, but leave slimy substance behind just like garden slugs. Without a stalk, however, they sometimes cross a gap if it is narrower than their length. Length/width of this slug: ca. 1.0/0.2 mm. Approx speed 1.3 mm/h. (1 min, 1 h 16 min, 2.7 mm) (s08)
D. discoideum slug with fluorescently labelled cells QuickTime
avi (1400)
New Cell movement within a migrating slug (fluorescence microscopy). Migrating slug of D. discoideum consisting of a small fraction of GFP-expressing cells and unlabelled (therefore invisible) cells. Movement of individual fluorescent cells can be seen. Scale bar: 50 micrometres. (10 sec, 10 min) (s19)
Dictyostelium discoideum fruiting QuickTime
avi (340)
Fruiting body formation of D. discoideum. As prespore cells turn into mature spores, the sorogen, which has been transparent, becomes opaque and its somewhat elongated shape becomes rounder. (8 min, 7 h 36 min, 0.8 mm) (s04)
Dictyostelium purpureum sporulation QuickTime
avi (340)
The fruiting body of Polysphondylium has regularly-spaced whorls of branches. The tail part of the cell mass rising along the stalk is pinched off and left behind, from which normally 2 to 6 tips appear in the periphery, each making a tiny fruiting body. This is P. pallidum. (5 min, 6 h, 0.75 mm) (s10)
Dictyostelium polycephalum culmination QuickTime
avi (560)
Migrating slugs of D. polycephalum occasionally leave lumps of cells behind. Such fragments of migrating slugs usually give rise to small slugs, but if the condition is favourable, characteristic fruiting bodies as shown in this movie emerge. (4 min, 9 h 32 min, 0.3 mm) (s16) (higher magnification movie in next page)

Macrocyst formation

Macrocyst is the sexual reproduction mode of the cellular slime mould. (-->more)

macrocyst QuickTime
avi (1000)
Cells of Dictyostelium mucoroides aggregating under water. Under such conditions, instead of forming mounds and slugs, aggregates of cells are divided into rounded cell masses, each of which becomes a macrocyst. (4 min, 10 h, 1.1 mm) (m01)
macrocyst QuickTime
avi (730)
Cells engulfed by the giant cell (called endocytes) appear more refractile than live cells. In this movie, an additional giant cell, which failed to attract the aggregating cells, stick to, but excluded from, the macrocyst. (2 min, 3 h 48 min, 0.1 mm) (m02)
macrocyst QuickTime
avi (150)
The same macrocyst as shown above. The giant cell continues to eat the surrounding cells. It takes long for it to digest the endocytes, so individual endocytes can still be seen in the last frame of the movie. (1 h, 24 h, 0.1 mm) (m03)

movies data | acknowledgements

More movies (more species and phenomena ...) --> movies 2 | movies for papers | index by species names
Photographs --> photos of fruiting bodies

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