Dictyostelida cellular slime moulds

A unicellular amoeboid form also figures in the life cycle of the other group of slime moulds, the Dictyostelida (Figure 9.17). This haploid amoeba is the main vegetative form, but when food supplies are scarce, large numbers aggregate to form a slug-like blob, superficially not unlike the plasmodium described above. Unlike the plasmodium, however, this aggregate is fully cellular, so each component cell retains its plasma membrane.

Compare the life cycle of cellular slime moulds (Figure 9.17) with that of the plas-modial kind (Figure 9.16). Fruiting bodies again develop, giving rise to spores that germinate into new amoebas. No meiosis step is required, however, because the whole cycle comprises haploid forms, and this is therefore a form of asexual reproduction. A simple sexual cycle may also occur, when haploid amoebas fuse to give a diploid zygote.

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