“Slime Molds”

Myxomycetes (slime molds) are easily overlooked in the forest until you see your first one and realize that in fact you are surrounded by them!  Most of a slime mold life cycle is subtle—a tiny bacteria eating-amoeboid cell, scarcely distinguishable from  any other soil or detritus bacteriovore. However, now and then enormous multi-nucleate amoeboid masses are produced, followed by spectacular spore-bearing structures hoisted into the air.  Those aerial structure may be dried and preserved in herbarium boxes. (Some will be available for viewing.) New DNA sequence analyses of myxomycetes have revealed surprising relationships and have confirmed what has long been suspected about evolutionary convergences of the myxomycete life style. So this talk will bridge a traditional history collection with some of an evolutionary backstory for what it means to be a slime mold.

The talk will be held on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. in the President’s Dining Room.