Viruses, Bacteria, Protists, and Fungi

What slime mold serves as a model organism in developmental biology?

Dictyostelium discoideum has been studied as a model for the developmental biology of complex organisms. Under optimum conditions, this organism lives as individual, amoeboid cells. When food is scarce, the cells stream together into a moving mass, resembling a slug that differentiates into a stalk with a spore-bearing body at its top. This structure releases spores that can grow into a new amoeboid cell. The development from identical, free-living cells to a multicellular organism simulates many of the properties of more complex and complicated organisms.


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