Physarum Cell Culture


Physarum cell cultures have proved valuable for biochemical research due to the ease with which they can be grown. They have been widely used for studies on cell motility.

Keywords: cytoplasmic streaming; actin; myosin; calcium inhibition; plasmodia; amoebae

Figure 1.

Life cycle of typical Physarum. From CJ Alexopoulous and CW Mims (1979) Introductory Mycology, 3rd edn, p. 69. New York: Wiley. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons.



Bailey J (1995) Plasmodium development in the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum: genetic control and cellular events. Microbiology 141: 2355–2363.

Burland TG, Solnica‐Krezel L, Bailey J, Cunningham DB and Dove WF (1993) Patterns of inheritance, development and the mitotic cycle in the protist Physarum polycephalum. Advances in Microbial Physiology 35: 1–69.

Burland TG and Pallotta D (1995) Homologous gene replacement in Physarum. Genetics 139: 147–158.

Daniel JB and Rusch HP (1961) The pure culture of Physarum polycephalum on a partially defined soluble medium. Journal of General Microbiology 25: 47–59.

Kohama K, Ishikawa R and Ishigami M (1998) Large‐scale culture of Physarum: A simple way of growing plasmodia to purify actomyosin and myosin. In: Celis JE (ed.) Cell Biology: A Laboratory Handbook, 2nd edn, vol. 1, pp. 466–471. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Nakamura A and Kohama K (1999) Calcium regulation of the actin‐myosin interaction of Physarum polycephalum. International Review of Cytology 191: 53–97.

Nakagaki T and Ueda T (1996) Phase switching of oscillatory contraction in relation to the regulation of amoeboid behavior by the plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum. Journal of Theoretical Biology 179: 261–267.

Further Reading

Dove WF, Dee J, Hatano S, Haugli FB and Wotlfanth‐Botlermann R‐E (1986) The Molecular Biology of Physarum polycephalum. New York: Plenum.

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Kohama, Kazuhiro, and Nakamura, Akio(Apr 2001) Physarum Cell Culture. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002580]