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Latest Dictyostelium Stories

Tiny Single-celled Organisms Have Amazingly Complicated Social Lives
2013-07-30 09:06:00

Washington University in St. Louis In 2011, Nature announced that scientists had discovered a single-celled organism that is a primitive farmer. The organism, a social amoeba called Dictyostelium discoideum, picks up edible bacteria, carries them to new locations and harvests them like crops. D. discoideum enjoyed a brief spell in the media spotlight, billed as the world's smallest farmer. Now a collaboration of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University...

Slime Mold Gets Upper Hand By Cheating
2013-01-09 13:38:37

BioMed Central A 'cheater' mutation (chtB) in Dictyostelium discoideum, a free living slime mold able to co-operate as social organism when food is scarce, allows the cheater strain to exploit its social partner, finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The mutation ensures that when mixed with 'normal' Dictyostelium more than the fair share of cheaters become spores, dispersing to a new environment, and avoiding dying as stalk cells....

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2009-03-12 09:00:00

A Rice University study of microbes from a Houston-area cow pasture has confirmed once again that everything is bigger in Texas, even the single-celled stuff. The tests revealed the first-ever report of a large, natural colony of amoebae clones -- a Texas-sized expanse measuring at least 12 meters across. The research is available online and featured on cover of the March issue of Molecular Ecology. Some large organisms like aspen trees and sea anemones are well-known for growing in large...

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2006-08-26 04:50:00

New research published by Rice University biologists in this week's issue of Nature finds that even the simplest of social creatures - single-celled amoebae - have the ability not only to recognize their own family members but also to selectively discriminate in favor of them. The study provides further proof of the surprisingly sophisticated social behavior of microbes, which have been shown to exhibit levels of cooperation more typically associated with animals . "By recognizing kin, a...