Dresden 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm
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BP 18.9: Poster
Dienstag, 17. März 2020, 14:00–16:00, P2/2OG
Energetic cost of morphological states of Physarum polycephalum — •Leonie Kemeter1, Mirna Kramar1, and Karen Alim1,2 — 1Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization — 2Technical University of Munich
An interconnected network of tubes forms the flow-driven plasmodial networks of the unicellular slime mould Physarum polycephalum and provides an astonishing example of self-organization in biological systems: the tubes' oscillatory activity is responsible for driving the flow of endoplasm through the network, thus forming the morphology via the contractions. Changes in oscillations and the resulting morphological changes help Physarum react to its environment. For example, it increases effective Taylor dispersion by pruning of small tubes during foraging. Recent experiments show two distinct morphological states - one fan-like slower state and one lightning-like faster state. Interestingly, the slime mould seems to switch randomly between the two states. Knowing the energetic cost of those morphological states would allow for possible explanations for this behaviour, e.g. a high energetic cost of the lightning strike suggests that it is used only when advantages of this state such as the higher speed are necessary. We model the elastic and dispersive energy of a network showing both morphological states. The model uses the tried and tested approach that the tube's contractions result in a peristaltic wave across the network and needs only the time-averaged radii of the tubes as input from the experiments. The modelled contractions can later be compared to the measured contractions to check the validity of the model.