A new study reveals that unicellular Physarum polcephalum or slime mold does not have a brain or nervous system but can remember the location of a food source.
The German scientist uncovered bright yellow slime mushroom records that found where his last meal was by changing the shape of its tubular branches.
If it encounters food in an environment, the mold will know where to return to that area for feast, preserving its unique nature.
The final work is based on the ‘surprising’ skills of the yellow mold, which can solve labyrinths and perform other tasks that require intelligence.
Whether you remember the location of a food or a dangerous enemy, the ability to remember is essential to survival.
This feature is traditionally attributed to organisms that have a nervous system.
But a new study reinforces this assumption with more evidence that it stores and retrieves information about its environment without the unicellular P. polycephalum mold.
P. polycephalum, which is not exactly a plant, animal, or fungus, is a biological mystery. A mass of interconnected ‘tubes’ that can grow from microscopic size to several square meters.
There are more than 900 types of slime mold, some with colorful nicknames like ‘dog vomit’, ‘pink toothpaste’ and ‘carnival candy’.
When split in half, they can repair themselves and even merge with other patterns and share information.
Researchers have previously demonstrated that one species, P. polycephalum, can solve mazes, find the shortest distance between places, and perform other tasks that suggest some kind of intelligence.
It even özgü ‘taste buds’, which are sensors that can detect antibodies to wheat germ, soybean and other foods.
P. polycephalum’s abilities become even more impressive when you notice that he is constantly growing, disintegrating, and rearranging his tubes without a central controller running the show.
Researchers discovered the drop-like yellow mold meshes of encounters with food sources in its tubular architecture.
Karen Alim, head of the institute’s biological physics and morphogenesis group, and her colleague Mirna Kramar observed P. polycephalum under a microscope.
Typically, P. polycephalum reabsorbs and restructures its branches as they move through a new environment.
But if he encounters a tasty bite, he keeps it in his memory that özgü no place.
“We observed a distinct trace of a food source in the pattern of thicker and thinner tubes in the web long after feeding,” said Alim, a biological physicist.
According to Kramar, the report’s lead author, “Previous encounters imprinted in the network architecture pave the way for decision about its future direction.” says.
The team believes that after a meal, the mold releases a chemical that softens the tubes in its web and effectively directs the whole organism towards the food source.
“For the soft chemical currently being transported, the thick tubes in the network act as highways in traffic networks and enable rapid transport across the whole organism,” Kramar said.
Alim described this ability as ‘extraordinary’ and believes it could be useful in developing smart materials and soft robots that navigate complex environments.
Compiled by: Feyza ÇETİNKOL
/ Slime Mold Mushroom Remembers the Places of Foods, Solves Labyrinths Without a Brain /