Colour (Prey) Preference in the Slime Mould Physarum polycephalum

Here I have given the the slime mould Physarum polycephalum a choice of five different naturally pigmented bacterial pastes to eat.

Here are the results

Time 0: inoculation

Time 0: inoculation

Time 0: inoculation. the yellow central organism is the slime mould.

Time 12 hours:  At this stage, the slime mould has actively avoided yellow and blue, and ignored red and white as sources of food. If you look carefully, you can see plale slime trails, that are no longer occupied by the slime mould. These are areas of the agar that it investigated but which it found inimical or no source of food.Can yellow and blue be used as a deterent?

_MG_6288 _MG_6289 _MG_6290 _MG_6291 _MG_6292 _MG_6293 _MG_6296 _MG_6297

Time 20 hours: The slime mould has identified orange as a food source and is beginning to engulf and consume it.  If you look carefully, you can see plale slime trails, that are no longer occupied by the slime mould. These are areas of the agar that it investigated but which it found inimical or no source of food. Can organge  be used as an attractant?

_MG_6298 _MG_6299 _MG_6300 _MG_6301 _MG_6302 _MG_6303 _MG_6304 _MG_6305 _MG_6306 _MG_6307 _MG_6308 _MG_6310
Time 36 hours:   I felt a little sorry for the slime mould on its meagre diet of bacteria so fed it some oats. It’s very clear as to which food source it prefers at the momment

 

_MG_6321 _MG_6320 _MG_6318

 

 

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