Slime Molds

Slime Molds

Slime Molds

Things you will need:

  • Sample of a slime mold
  • Color pencil
  • Clear lidded two dishes that are of the size of a pie
  • Rubber tubing – length should be around one ft
  • Scissors
  • Dish – Petri
  • Hand gloves – Rubber is preferred
  • Water – make sure its distilled
  • Oats that are raw
  • Dropper
  • Fruit or cereal (food for the slime mold)
  • Towel – paper would be best
  • A toxin (Polish remover, Vinegar)

How to do it:

  • To save your setup from contamination, wear the gloves while handling stuff.
  • Take the rubber tube and cut it into three 1 inch pieces. Then take those three pieces and cut them vertically.
  • As the diagram represents fix those three tubes properly around the edge of the pie plate.
  • Take the petri dish and carefully place it in the dish below.
  • The paper towel that we set aside must be cut into a circle bigger than the petri dish and placed on top of it.
  • Spray the distilled water on top of the towel.
  • Close the setup with the help of the pie plate’s cover.
  • Now we start with growing the mold.
  • Take the slime mold sample and keep it on the moist paper towel. Be sure to add a drop or two of water as well.
  • Take a piece of oat or cornflakes and keep it in contact with the slime mold.
  • As the mold gradually increases in size start placing more food for it. Watch it spread as you provide it nutrition.
  • The towel needs to be kept moist so keep spraying it with water.
  • Take notes while the mold grows and keep photographing it for documentation purposes.

Experimentation   

  • Create different setups and feed them different types of food. See which food the molds react to best.
  • Add the toxins we had to some of the setups and note the effects they had over their growth.

What happens?

Like an amoeba the mold moves around searching for food and as it eats, it grows larger. The mold prefers wet and cold environments to grow such as barks and branches of trees. They use chemical signals to travel around and communicate to each other. It has also been seen that the mold have learnt which chemicals have harmed them before and then avoid it in the future.


Practise This Question

Which of the following is NOT correctly matched?