How do myxomycetes crawl? – Myxomycetes plasmodia locomotion research.
The project provides an opportunity for the participants to conduct scientific research into the physiology of myxomycetes. These organisms are unique representatives of protozoa that have a multinucleated macroscopic cell. On the one hand, only just over 1000 species of these creatures are known to date. On the other hand, their physiology has been studied only on the model object Physarum polycephalum. At the same time, the existing works on physiology are still insufficient to understand many of the vital processes of the plasmodium.

Myxomycetes plasmodia in laboratory
It is known that during the growing season, when a myxomycete cell is actively feeding, it exhibits positive hydrotaxis, trophotaxis and negative phototaxis. That is, the plasmodium seeks a dark and wet place rich in food. In the case of the transition to sporulation, the taxis are reversed - now the plasmodium crawls to a dry, lighted place and is not interested in food. However, it is still poorly understood how much the factors of moisture, light and food affect the speed of movement of plasmodia of different species.
A flat logistics network based on a map of Mexico
Another feature of myxomycetes, the ability to form networks of branching cytoplasmic channels, is used by scientists around the world to create logistic maps. To do this, a map of a region is placed under clear plastic with agar, and food particles for the plasmodium are placed on top of the points of settlement. After growing, the plasmodium connects these particles with channels, creating an analogue of a real map. So far, most works has been done on a plane, without taking the topography into account. We propose to conduct an experiment on a volumetric surface that takes into account the mountainous topography of Kyrgyzstan for this experiment.

Requirements to the students
Basic knowledge in botany and mycology.

Nikita Borzov

Moscow, Russia
After graduating from the Department of Virology at the Biology Department of Moscow State University, Nikita decided to change his field of work from laboratory to the field biology and moved to the Department of Mycology and Algology. Myxomycetes always seemed to him to be one of the most unusual creatures on this planet, so when he was offered to take up postgraduate studies in them, he agreed almost immediately. Over the past four years he has learned and mastered quite a lot, but he also learned that while the taxonomy and systematics of myxomycetes are now fairly well studied, there are very few works on physiology and they are quite old. This is rather sad on the one hand, but gives us an opportunity to fill this gap on the other.
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