Conflict between Positive and Negative Feedback as an Explanation for the Initiation of Aggregation in Slime Mould Amoebae

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Abstract

WHEN their supply of bacterial food becomes exhausted, some species of cellular slime mould seem to spread evenly over the area they occupy and later begin to aggregate into several fairly regularly spaced clusters. The aggregate typically migrates as a slug, then erects a fruiting body containing spores which germinate when conditions are favourable1. What causes these seemingly independent organisms to engage in such collective behaviour ? The answer to this question could provide important clues to the understanding of other morphogenetic developments.

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KELLER, E., SEGEL, L. Conflict between Positive and Negative Feedback as an Explanation for the Initiation of Aggregation in Slime Mould Amoebae. Nature 227, 1365–1366 (1970) doi:10.1038/2271365a0

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