Dresden 2017 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 14: Physics of Physarum polycephalum and Other Slime Molds - Joint Focus Session (BP/DY) organized by Hans-Günther Döbereiner

BP 14.4: Vortrag

Dienstag, 21. März 2017, 10:30–10:45, SCH A251

Scaling of foraging patterns under starvation in Physarum polycephalum — •Jonghyun Lee, Christina Oettmeier, and Hans-Günther Döbereiner — Institut für Biophysik, Universität Bremen

Physarum polycephalum is garnering attention as a model organism for primitive intelligence and decision-making. We utilize microplasmodia, quasi-spherical fragments on the micrometer range, to investigate the reconstitution of the macroplasmodium from smaller components.

Generally, Physarum grows as an extended network, of which the transition from micro- to macroplasmodia occurs via percolation [1]. However, under starvation conditions, this transition does not occur. Instead, several bodies on the millimeter scale form and migrate radially away from the site of inoculation. We term these motile mesoplasmodia satellites. Satellite growth mode has defined phases of motility and rest, and their behaviour is spatio-temporally correlated. Satellites also have a stable and defined morphology, as well as a constant direction of movement.

Here, we present a description of this growth mode with simplified geometrical shapes. We describe scaling relationships of the number of satellites produced and their size based on initial conditions. The model predicts the size to increase and the number to decrease as the initial biomass increases, which fits well with the data. We discuss implications of assumptions and limitations of our scaling model.

[1] Fessel, A. et al. (2012), Physical Review Letters 109, 078103.

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