Cultured Myxomycetes

Images taken in a controlled environment or with a posed subject. All subject types.

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leonardturner
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Cultured Myxomycetes

Post by leonardturner »

I was taken by an earlier post with some excellent photographs of myxomycetes and decided to try to grow some in cultures, with these results.



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Thanks for your interest and comments.

Leonard

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Wonderful, Leaonard :)
Chris R

dolmadis
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Post by dolmadis »

Yes, really great images.

Would you share your culture process please?

Thanks


John

Olympusman
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Spores

Post by Olympusman »

Amazing images!

Mike
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

leonardturner
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Post by leonardturner »

My thanks to all of you.

Dolmadis, I use inexpensive plastic Petri dishes with a circle of paper cut to fit the bottom. Bibulous paper, filter paper, and even paper towels work. Small bits of ground debris, rotting stumps, dead leafs, or tree bark (living or dead) are added, and the dish is flooded with water, preferably distilled, overnight. After a day or so, excess water is drained off and the paper is kept wet by small periodic additions of water as needed. Inspect every day or two for as long as month--I have an ancient Spencer stereo scope which is excellent for this purpose (those with allergies or immune deficiencies should probably do their inspections with the top on the dish).

Leonard

dolmadis
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Post by dolmadis »

Thanks Leonard.

A very manageable process with great results.

BR


John

ztt74
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Post by ztt74 »

thanks Leonard - great images!
Will give this a try...

nanometer
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Post by nanometer »

These are great to look at, and very well done.

Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

Great images Leonard.

What lens/set up did you use to take these?

For anyone having a go at culturing, I picked up a couple of tips that might help...

- Instead of petri dishes, plastic fruit containers without holes (like those for strawberries) are a good alternative to petri dishes - cheaper, slightly bigger and made of a thin plastic which is easily cut if your myxo decides to wander off and fruit on the plastic instead of on the substrate. Wash them well before you use them to remove sugar residues.

- Don't be tempted to skip the soaking overnight step, up to 48 hours is good and possibly with a change of water. I hadn't realised this but this step is not just to hydrate the substrate - it is also to remove the sugars present (especially in fresh wood). Any sugars present encourage the growth of fungal mycelium which can take over the dish and quickly ruin your experiment.

Have you tried to ID any of them?

If it's of interest, the yellow one and the white one at the end are possibly Physarum. The one leaning over to the right looks like Arcyria cinerea. The brown ones with the thin stem are possible Comatricha or a related genus. You need to look at spores and capillitium to know for sure.

Of course, you don't need to know their names to appreciate their beauty.. :)

leonardturner
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Post by leonardturner »

My thanks to all, and especially for the excellent observations and tips, Pitufo, as well as for possible identifications. I was unaware of the sugar removal/fungal discouraging aspect of soaking, and I like the idea of using existing plastic containers.

All the images were made with a 10X Mitutoyo, either on a Raynox 150 or, for higher magnification, an ancient 300mm Nikon f4.5, which seems to be a pretty happy combination. Lighting was LED diffused through a yogurt container (at least I reused some plastic!), stacks were done with Zerene.

I have three of Steven Stephenson's books and a couple of others, which allowed me some personal speculation, but I was not brave enough to try for identification without pursuing this far further than time and my abilities permit.

Best wishes,

Leonard

Macrero
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Post by Macrero »

Excellent work.

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

Bob-O-Rama
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Very Dr. Seuss-ian

Post by Bob-O-Rama »

I was always under the impression that culturing them was a pain. Your results are really impressive and interesting.

My only regret ( rather than criticism ) is that you did not time lapse them - that must be very interesting to see them build these structures. Also a lot of the time lapse that is available is just badly done slide show like things.

leonardturner
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Post by leonardturner »

Thank you, Macero and Bob.

Bob, time lapse would have been interesting to do, but would require some way to maintain the very high humidity during the process. Well beyond my reach; I was having enough trouble re-finding the same specimen on the wet wood over a period of days to follow the fruiting body progress!

Leonard

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