Growing Slime Mold


This activity can be a little difficult, because you are dealing with living cells. But the results are well worth the effort.

What You'll Need:

  • Physarum polycephalum: available from Carolina Biological Supply* as an extensive kit (including plasmodium, sterilized oatmeal, and extra dishes of agar)

  • Or

  • A single plate culture of Physarum polycephalum*
  • At least one petri dish with agar* (a growth nutrient)
  • Oatmeal flakes

* available through:
Carolina Biological Supply
fax: 1-800-222-7112
e-mail: media@carolina.com




Step 1:
Cut a tiny cube from healthy culture and place it upside-down on a fresh petri dish of agar. Place two or three pieces of oatmeal about an inch away from the spreading plasmodium.

Step 2:
Each day add another two or three oatmeal flakes about an inch away from the spreading plasmodium and watch it grow toward and engulf them. After just a few days, the most amazing things will start to grow!

Step 3:
Place the oatmeal in intricate patterns, spreading agar on large kitchen platters or plates of glass for bigger designs.

Be sure to take appropriate precautions when culturing live cells. Be careful of contamination from other molds.


Try these other activities . . .

Making Salt Printing From Nature Making Turbulence Patterns

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