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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Calcium accumulation in vacuoles of Physarum polycephalum following starvation.

The plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum contained 15.3 mmol Ca/kg fresh weight of sample, 11.8 mmol Mg/kg, 24.5 mmol K/kg and 1.4 mmol Na/kg. When the plasmodium was starved of food, the Ca content increased gradually up to 71.9 mmol/kg during 5 days of starvation. The concentration of other elements changed only slightly. The endoplasm contained 23.0 mmol Ca/kg, 12.6 mmol Mg/kg, 26.6 mmol K/kg and 1.7 mmol Na/kg, but these contents changed only slightly during starvation. The Ca, Mg, K and Na contents of the slime and the soluble fraction were also determined. In order to clarify where the accumulated Ca was localized, Ca in the plasmodium was precipitated with potassium pyroantimonate and examined by electron microscopy. In the starved plasmodium, the vacuoles which contained the electron-opaque precipitates and were located in the ectoplasm increased in number, compared with the unstarved plasmodium. At the same time the large electron-opaque granules in the extracellular slime increased in number. The electron-opaque precipitates were identified as Ca pyroantimonate by its susceptibility to removal by chelation with ethyleneglycol bis (beta-aminoethyl ether) N, N, N', N'-tetraacetic acid (EGTA) and X-ray microprobe analysis.[1]


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