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Description of Myxogastria

The dominant trophic form is the plasmodium or the slime stage, plasmodia may be found on moist logs in woods, on leaf litter, or even the moist bark of living trees and vines; plasmodia may be coloured red, orange, white, violet, or almost black, but most are yellowish; can be induced to produce dried sclerotia which may be reactivated by wetting and placing them in a moist chamber and feeding them; spores are haploid, range in size from about 5 to 20 µm, but most are about 10 µm in diameter; when water is present, they germinate, releasing protoplasts which may develop into either a amoeba or a amoebo-flagellate, both of which are haploid and behave like gametes; haploid gametes fuse in pairs to form diploid zygotes, which then divide mitotically without subsequent cell division, resulting in the formation of the multinucleated mass of cytoplasm called the plasmodium.

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