Slime Mould Inquiry


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Inquiry on Slime Mould
Includes information on basic care, making sclerotia, and maze experiment.

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Slime Mould Inquiry

  1. 1. Inquiry 4 How Long Does it Take SlimeMould to Solve a Simple Maze? By ASH and SCK
  2. 2. Interesting Facts about Slime Mould Favourite Food: Old fashioned rolled oats Top Growth Speed: 1.8 cm/hr. Preferred Growing Conditions: dark, damp, warm Diet: decaying organisms, other fungi, yeast, rice, pasta Number of Known Species: 450 They are the world’s largest single-celled organism! If cut, slime mould will put itself back together Scientific Name: Physarum Polycephalum
  3. 3. Types of Slime Mould in BC Dog’s vomit (Fuligo septica) Lindbladia tabulina Wolf’s milk (Lycogala epidendrum) Unidentified white slime mould Trichia c.f. decepiens Tubifera feruginosa Tapioca slime (Brefeldia maxima) Chocolate tube slime moulds (Stemonitis sp.)
  4. 4. What you Need to Sustain SlimeMould You should also haveRequired Materials for Growing: a dark, dry place for Slime Mould the mould to grow Petri dish and/or sealed container (ex. Tupperware) Old fashioned oat flakes Aluminum foilOther Things to Have On Hand: Paper towels Scalpels Forceps or tweezers Electrical tape Rubbing alcohol / autoclave / pot (method of steralization) Bleach Incubator
  5. 5. Our Experiment…Getting Slime Mould to solve a simplemaze
  6. 6. ProcedureStep 1: Collect necessary materialsfor maze-building(container, lego, agar, oats, etc.)Step 2: Build mazeStep 3: Prepare maze (add oats)Step 4: Transfer piece of actively growingslime mould to mazeStep 5: Check on mould periodically at approximately30-60 minute intervals
  7. 7. HypothesisStep 1: We measured thedistance of the fastest routethrough the maze (About 19cm)Step 2: We calculated the timeit would take using the fastestpossible growth speed (1.8cm/hr.) The result of our calculations was 10.56 hours.
  8. 8. ResultsStart Time: 9:24 am (February 13th)End Time: 7:24 pm (February 15th)It took approximately 34 hours for the mould to solvethe maze.
  9. 9. ConclusionIt takes Slime Mould about 34 hours to solve amaze with a shortest distance of 19 cm.Slime Mould’s growing speed is about 0.56 cm / hr.Possible Explanations for Not Solving the Maze atTop Growth Speed:• Multiple changes in environment• Room temperature – not incubated• Lack of nutrients to start with
  10. 10. Road Blocks Sterilizing petri dishes Sterilizing Lego Contamination  Empty nutrient transfers  Culture overload! – Too many cultures at once
  11. 11. Future ExperimentsCan Slime Mould Remember a Maze Route? Rebuild the same maze and use the same culturefor it.Tracing Growth Rate Use a permanent marker to trace the growth ofslime mould on the bottom of a petri dish.Different Mazes Try different mazes
  12. 12. A General Recap: What We Did Practiced basic care:  Exchanging oats  Subculturing  Effects of incubator on growth Plated petri dishes with agar Made sclerotia Tested the air for bacteria
  13. 13. Sources (Care Instructions, Requirements & Growing Procedures) A Simple Method of Growing the Plasmodial Slime Mold: Cultivating Slime Moulds: Slime Mold Growing Kit: Top Tips for growing Physarum Polycephalum: Amateur Scientist - Slime mold (care): - Slime Mold :
  14. 14. Sources Cont. (General Information) Slime molds in British Columbia: Slime mold: Introduction to the "Slime Molds": Types of Slime Mould: Why Slime Molds can Solve Mazes Better Than Robots: Wards Natural Science: Amoeboid:
  15. 15. Sources Cont. (Images) Wolf’s Milk Slime Mould: Chocolate Tube Slime Mould:
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