the singular aroma of a cool damp forest 
         the vibrant yellow of a saucy lemon
the relentless rhythyms of nature of multiple cycles
        the storehouse of countless answers
     the tantalizing challenge that lures us on

Physarum Polycephalum Literature

This Blog was established to provide a convenient point of connection for all those who are interested in Physarum polycephalum and related organisms. It is meant to serve not only the interests of scientists who are doing 'cutting edge' research using one of these remarkable biological systems but also the general public and young scientists who are deciding what research path(s) to pursue.

The amount of work done - and published - on any model biological system is vast. We do not attempt here to list all publications on Physarum and related species. [Modern search engines allow anyone with a computer and internet access to find more relevant publications than most can assimilate.] Instead, this section is a listing of books, major review articles, and monographs that visitors to this Blog may find useful. If anyone in the Physarum community is aware of such source material that I have not listed, please contact the Author and provide the relevant information.

University of Leicester: Physarum Groups Theses

Name Degree Date Title LRA handle
Poulter, Russell PhD 1969 Senescence in the Myxomycete Physarum Polycephalum
Wheals, Alan PhD 1971 Mutants affecting plasmodium formation in a homothallic strain of Physarum polycephalum.
Cooke, David J. PhD 1974 Studies on the Colonia isolate of Physarum polycephalum.
Sudbery, Peter PhD 1974 Studies on the control of mitosis in the plasmodium of physarum polycephalum.
Hall, Leonard PhD 1975 Co-ordination of macromolecular synthesis in Physarum polycephalum.
Plaut, Barbara PhD 1975 Co-ordination of macromolecular synthesis in Physarum polycephalum.
Anderson, Roger PhD 1976 Analysis of the amoebal-plasmodial transition in Physarum polycephalum.
Burland, Timothy PhD 1978 Temperature-sensitive mutants of Physarum polycephalum: A search for cell cycle mutants.
Cunningham, William David PhD 1979 DNA synthesis in Physarum polycephalum.
Blindt, Adrian PhD 1987 Changes in cellular organisation during apogamic development in Physarum polycephalum.
Sweeney, Glen PhD 1987 Differential gene expression in Physarum.
Bailey, Juliet PhD 1989 Analysis of cellular events during plasmodium development in Physarum Polycephalum
Murray, Michael PhD 1990 The genetic analysis of mlpA, a gene encoding a myosin-like protein in Physarum polycephalum.
Mellersh, Cathryn PhD 1991 The study of expression of a plasmodial-specific gene in Physarum polycephalum.
Cook, Lynnette J. PhD 2000 Studies of genes showing differential expression during plasmodium development in Physarum polycephalum
Swanston, Emma PhD 2000 A study of developmentally regulated genes in Physarum polycephalum

Physarum "Intelligence"?

A growing number of scientists are rethinking the question of intelligence. Defined by many as "purposeful action", intelligence is being recognized in - or at least suggested to be manifested by - various animals and even plants. Not to be left out, the community of scientists studying Physarum has reported on "intelligent" behavior by the true slime mold. Because this literature is so new (and somewhat controversial), we will be very selective in our coverage of such publications. But the fact is that a large number of people are attracted to Physarum by this literature and we as a community ought to acknowledge that growing interest, even if those of us who are 'rigorous scientists' feel obliged to treat the published findings (or the interpretation of those facts) with some skepticism. (Swanston, Emma)

Another reason for including some material in this section is that the interest in 'intelligence' has sparked the attention of some very gifted communicators and they are actually blurring the 'line' between reporting facts in conventional ways, with publicizing slime mold in a fashion that is almost media coverage. So, in the same sense that we often give consideration to reports that have some errors - because they also contain a great deal of 'truth' - we chose not to reject such coverage but to 'cover' it ourselves because we want to attract attention to our 'favorite' model system, even if we may be forced to explain what is fact and what is 'fancy'. (Swanston, Emma)