Letter | Published:

A one-dimensional pattern in the cellular slime mould Polysphondylium pallidum

Nature volume 286, pages 806807 (21 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The cellular slime mould Polysphondylium pallidum has a fruiting body with whorls of branches spaced at regular intervals along the stalk (Fig. 1). The spacing between successive whorls is quite regular and under genetic control1. Because stalk cell number per interval correlates strongly with interval length, we have studied the influence of ploidy on the distance between whorls to determine if cell counting could account for the spacing. It is known that diploid spores and amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum and Polysphondylium violaceum are roughly twice the size of their haploid parents2,3, and we find that stalk cells in P. pallidum follow the same pattern. Our results show that the number of stalk cells between successive whorls in haploids is approximately twice the number in diploids, while the spacing remains the same. This clearly indicates that spacing is not achieved by a cell counting mechanism. Instead, it appears to depend on distance.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544

    • F. W. Spiegel
    •  & E. C. Cox

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286806a0

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