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Slime Moulds


Slime Moulds

Usually appear in

All Year

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Caused By:-     Various species of the Protista Kingdom


Fruiting slime mold. By ancient trail near confluence of East and West forks of the Hood River - east bank. Trail starts at end of Iowa Drive, Hood River, OR 97031. Picture by Adrian Eugene Fields from Wikimedia Commons.
Slime moulds were formerly classified as fungi, but DNA analysis has shown that Slime Moulds are polyphyletic, which means that they have descended from more than one ancestral source and is also distinct from fungi. They have therefore been put in the Kingdom Protista which also contains the water moulds phylums Oomycota and Chytridiomycota. The slime moulds phylums are acrasiomycota the cellular slime moulds which have amoeba like movements and the Myxomycota which are plasmodial slime moulds.
Cellular slime moulds are usually unicellular protists, but when a chemical signal is secreted, they assemble into a cluster that acts as one organism coming together to produce spores.
Plasmodial slime mould are multicellular, forming one large mass. A large Heterokaryotic supercell.
They are common in moist, organic-rich environments and especially on damp, rotten wood, where there are lots of bacteria that are used as food. They are seldom seen until they begin to produce spores, when they often produce conspicuous and brightly coloured white, yellow or red fruiting bodies that releases spores.


No chemical control is necessary as plant growth is usually not affected. Brush away or wash off with a hose if necessary.
Poor drainage leading to moist humid conditions ideal for bacteria contribute to their appearance especially in lawns where spiking should help.
If they return regularly, an application a copper fungicide should control them, but do remember they could be essential to the health of your soil. (Copper fungicides are to be withdrawn from the EU market by 2013.)

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