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Sorocarps of a Dictyostelid – A Cellular Slime Mold

 
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Walter Piorkowski



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 684
Location: South Beloit, Ill

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Sorocarps of a Dictyostelid – A Cellular Slime Mold Reply with quote



Horizontal FOV 1.5mm
Canon 10D
Leitz objective lg, 20X, 0.2 NA, on 170mm extension
Series of 44 images @ .0005 inch increments
Diffuse tent lighting
Combine ZM, Photoshop
Collected 7/7/07, imaged 7/8/07



Sorocarps of a Dictyostelid – A Cellular Slime Mold

The sphere topped stalks in this image are the sorocarps of a dictyostelid of a species I have not identified. Rik and Ken have made reference to the dictyostelids in a previous post, MYXOMYCETES XIII - Emergence to Spore Release. The subjects in these images are only the second dictyostelids that I have seen in 30 years of myxomycete study. They are not myxos but the second of three forms of eumycetozoans of which myxomycetes are the largest. The other is the protostelids, known only in laboratory cultures.

Unfortunately in the past I have only been left with a field of headless stalks but I got lucky and caught them early enough with their spore bearing tops still attached. I do not want to give the impression that these are harder to find than the myxos. It is something you have to prepare to look for with planning and optical equipment.

These sorocarps are very small and cannot be seen with the naked eye. A 10X loupe is the minimum device to pick them up in the field, but 20X to 30X dissecting microscope is my preferred magnifier in scanning collected materials. I came across these when reviewing some tremellales I recently collected. The best way to find these is to scan the surface of a decaying log but they exist on many other decaying materials as well.

The image does look a bit strange in some spots. This the first image with this lens and I do not believe I had small enough moves. This is my first set of images using the Combine ZM “Do Average and Filter” macro. The starfish like plant in the frame is something I have picked up in air sampling experiments and may have been discussed on this forum in the past. There are also 5 very small tremellales, the red jelly in the image.

Walt
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19764
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful! Very Happy Not knowing the subject, I'm not seeing anything that looks like stacking artifacts. With a 20X NA 0.2 objective, you're on the edge with 0.0005" steps, but offhand I'd expect the biggest risk is to lose occasional detail. Where are the areas that you say "look a bit strange"?

I have seen things that look like the "starfish" discussed numerous times, mostly in the Microscope Yahoo Group. They are usually dismissed as some "plant fiber", of no particular interest. This seems a bit cavalier to me, but what do I know?

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7078
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting post here Walt. Wink I may have ran across these at times, not knowing just exactly what they were and more than likely ignoring them altogther. I must learn to be more observant. As for that star shaped object, I believe someone ID'ed one of those things over in the microscopy forums but it was in our old galleries, if I am not mistaken. If not in our old galleries, I must have ran across it somewhere else but at the moment I cannot remember what or where it was or what was said about it. Think
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19764
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micscape has an article on "Stellate objects for the microscope", published in their December 2000 issue. It's written by Brian Darnton and our own Wim van Egmond. The article starts at http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artdec00/star.html . Objects that look similar to the one shown in Walt's picture are at http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artdec00/star2.html. The ones in the Micscape article are described as scales of the Eleagnus (Oleaster) plant -- "almost certainly a xerophytic adaptation". There is a post in our old forums about Stellate trichomes on leaf of Deutzia gracilis. Google image search on stellate trichomes turns up quite a few -- starting with the one in our old forums. Search of the Yahoo Microscope group found one post, but the image is no longer available.

--Rik
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beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An excellent find Walt Wink
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Walter Piorkowski



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 684
Location: South Beloit, Ill

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you gentlemen. Rik, thanks for fleshing out the post with your reference to the trichomes. The strange parts are those areas where the lack of detail seems to cause a fade off into infinity. My fault I assume, by not doing enough images and at too large a spacing. Ken, I am sure that some of your collecting has brought you in contact with these but if they had lost their spherical heads you would have ignored them. For myself there needs to be quite a few before I will notice them.

Walt
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19764
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walter Piorkowski wrote:
The strange parts are those areas where the lack of detail seems to cause a fade off into infinity. My fault I assume, by not doing enough images and at too large a spacing.

Walt, I don't think it's a "fault" -- it's just the way things are. I get similar looking spots all the time in high mag work. At 20x, something doesn't have to be very far outside the focus slab to be completely blurred out. Take a look at the last post at http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5112 for an illustration. I'm sure yours must look very similar. BTW, the transition from out-of-focus to in-focus provides a good indication of whether a photo is stacked. Deep stacks have a transition that is sharp and narrow, compared to the depth that's in focus. At very high magnifications, you get sort of a "world drops off at the edge of town" effect where everything is either really sharp or completely blurred out -- essentially no transition at all (as shown in the first post at that link).

--Rik
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