Date of Award

Summer 1950

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




The Myxomycetes, because of their naked, mobile mass of protoplasm have served biologists and chemists as material for the study of the char­acteristics of protoplasm. The typical life his­ tory of such an organism may be summarized as follows: The vegetative phase in the life history consists of a naked mass of protoplasm, to which Oienkowski (9) applied the name "plasmodium". This plasmodium creeps by reversible streaming over and throughout the substratum, deriving its food from various constituents of decaying vegetable matter which serve as its normal substrate. Upon reaching a state of maturity and under certain environmental conditions, the plasmodium is converted into fruit­ ing bodies of various types such as sporangia, aethalia and plasmodiocarps. Within these fruiting bodies, typically uninucleate spores are formed. These spores are freed by a breaking down of the fructification wall and are disseminated by wind,rain, insects and other vectors.

Included in

Biology Commons