The uptake and metabolism of uridine by the slime mould Physarum polycephalum.
1. Uridine is taken up by microplasmodia of Physarum polycephalum via a saturatable transport system with an apparent Km of 29 muM. An intracellular concentration significantly higher than that in the growth medium is attained, suggesting that the uptake is an active process. Both deoxyribonucleosides and ribonucleosides are competitive inhibitors of the uptake of uridine. 2. In contrast, the rate of entry of uridine into surface plasmodia is a linear function of the concentration of the nucleoside in the growth medium, and the uptake is not inhibited by other nucleosides. 3. As well as serving as a source of pyrimidine nucleotides for the synthesis of nucleic acids, uridine is also catabolised by P. polycephalum. Uracil accumulates in the growth medium and there is also significant conversion of C-2 of the pyrimidine ring to CO2. The proportion of uridine subject to catabolism in surface plasmodia is less than that observed for microplasmodia. (+info)
Sterol content of the Myxomycetes Physarum polycephalum and P. flavicomum.
The sterol content of two Myxomycetes, Physarum polycephalum and P. flavicomum has been examined. The sterols of the two species are apparently identical, the two major sterols in each being poriferasterol and 22-dihydroporiferasterol. Threee minor sterols are probably delta5-ergostenol, ergostanol, and poriferastanol. The triterpenoids of the two species differ in that, though lanosterol was identified in both, 22-dihydrolanosterol was indicated only in P. flavicomum. The occurrence of lanosterol together with a typical mixture of plant sterols is somewhat unusual. (+info)
Genetic analysis of radiation-sensitive mutations in the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum.
The linkage of two mutations leading to increased sensitivity to ultraviolet light and 60Co gamma rays was determined in the slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum using a genetic analysis based on the parasexual cycle. Diploids were selected from a mixture of radiation-sensitive, temperature-resistant and radiation-resistant, temperature-sensitive haploids on the basis of simultaneous radiation and temperature resistance. Analysis of drug-resistant haploid segregants of the heterozygous diploids indicated that one of the radiation-sensitive mutations, radA20, was linked to linkage group I whereas the other, radB13, was linked to the recently defined linkage group VI. (+info)
The structural gene for alpha-mannosidase-1 in Dictyostellium discoideum.
We have isolated 4 independent mutations affecting alpha-mannosidase-1, a developmentally regulated activity in Dictyrostelium discoideum. Three of these result in a thermolabile alpha-mannosidase-1 activity. One mutation also affects the substrate affinity (Km) of the activity. In diploids these mutations show a gene dosage effect and are all alleles. The structural gene for alpha-mannosidase-1, as defined by these mutations, defines a new linkage group, linkage group VI. alpha-mammosidase 1 is probably a homopolymer with subunits of 54,000 daltons. We have also mapped two temperature-sensitive-for-growth mutations onto two previously defined linkage groups. (+info)
The subunit structure of chromatin from Physarum polycephalum.
Nucleosome DNA repeat lengths in Physarum chromatin, determined by nuclease digestion experiments, are shorter than those observed in most mammalian chromatin and longer than those reported for chromatin of certain other lower eukaryotes. After digestion with staphylococcal nuclease for short periods of time an average repeat length of 190 base pairs is measured. After more extensive digestion an average repeat length of 172 base pairs is measured. Upon prolonged digestion DNA is degraded to an average monomer subunit length of 160 base pairs, with only a small amount of DNA found in lengths of 130 base pairs or smaller. Mathematical analysis of the data suggests that the Physarum nucleosome DNA repeat comprises a protected DNA segment of about 159 base pairs with a nuclease-accessible interconnecting segment which ranges from 13 to 31 base pairs. The spacing data are compatible with measurements from electron micrographs of Physarum chromatin. (+info)
A cytoplasmic inhibitor of DNA polymerase from the plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum.
A factor which inhibited DNA polymerase [EC 126.96.36.199] activity was isolated from the cytoplasm of plasmodia of true slime mold, Physarum polycephalum. This factor was purified by DEAE-Sephadex and CM-cellulose column chromatographies, heat treatment and gel filtration. This inhibitor was heat-stable, insensitive to trypsin [EC 188.8.131.52] and was not digested by RNase [EC 184.108.40.206] or DNase [EC 220.127.116.11]. The molecular weight was 16,000 as determined by gel filtration, and the isoelectric point was determined to be pH 10.1. In the presence of the inhibitor, Km for DNA in the DNA polymerizing reaction was markedly increased. The inhibitory effect was eliminated by addition of excess DNA, but the addition of excess enzyme or deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates had no effect on the inhibition. (+info)
Cell patterning in migrating slugs of Dictyostelium discoideum.
When front quarters of migrating slugs of Dictyostelium discoideum are isolated by surgery and induced to friut immediately they produce fruiting bodies with disproportionately large stalks (Raper, 1940). The data in this communication show that the 'stalky' character of fruits derived from front quarters persists even if the cells of the front quarter are disaggregated and hence to reaggregate before fruiting. The data also demonstrate that friuts derived from rear quarters of slugs have disproportionately large spore heads, and that this effect becomes more pronounced with increasing age of the slugs. These observations support the view that the cells of the front and rear of migrating slugs are to some extent committed to different fates. (+info)
Signal emission and signal propagation during early aggregation in Dictyostelium discoideum.
Waves of chemotactic movement during the early phase of aggregation in Dictyostelium discoideum are of 2 kinds, concentric waves produced by cells that emit cyclic AMP signals spontaneously, and spirals generated by excitations relayed continuously around loops of excitable cells. The period of a spiral wave is the time taken for the excitation to make one complete circuit of the pacemaker loop. We have compared signal emission from the 2 types of source in time-lapse films made at a variety of temperatures. Our results show that spiral waves have a characteristic period length throughout most if not all of the early phase of aggregation, and that the period of concentric waves is generally longer and more variable. Temperature has a pronounced effect on period length and a lesser effect on propagation velocity. We find that each individual wave is propagated at constant velocity over distances of 1-2 cm but that the velocity of successive waves declines. This decline probably reflects some cumulative effect of the chemotactic excitations on the excitable properties of the aggregating cells. (+info)