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  Network topology enables efficient response to environment in Physarum polycephalum

Chen, S., & Alim, K. (2023). Network topology enables efficient response to environment in Physarum polycephalum. Physical Biology, 20(4): 046003. doi:10.1088/1478-3975/accef2.

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Chen_2023_Phys._Biol._20_046003.pdf (Publisher version), 974KB
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 Creators:
Chen, Siyu1, Author           
Alim, Karen1, Author           
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1Max Planck Research Group Biological Physics and Morphogenesis, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2266692              

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 Abstract: The network-shaped body plan distinguishes the unicellular slime mould Physarum polycephalum in body architecture from other unicellular organisms. Yet, network-shaped body plans dominate branches of multi-cellular life such as in fungi. What survival advantage does a network structure provide when facing a dynamic environment with adverse conditions? Here, we probe how network topology impacts P. polycephalum's avoidance response to an adverse blue light. We stimulate either an elongated, I-shaped amoeboid or a Y-shaped networked specimen and subsequently quantify the evacuation process of the light-exposed body part. The result shows that Y-shaped specimen complete the avoidance retraction in a comparable time frame, even slightly faster than I-shaped organisms, yet, at a lower almost negligible increase in migration velocity. Contraction amplitude driving mass motion is further only locally increased in Y-shaped specimen compared to I-shaped-providing further evidence that Y-shaped's avoidance reaction is energetically more efficient than in I-shaped amoeboid organisms. The difference in the retraction behaviour suggests that the complexity of network topology provides a key advantage when encountering adverse environments. Our findings could lead to a better understanding of the transition from unicellular to multicellularity.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2023-05-162023
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/accef2
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Project name : FlowMem
Grant ID : 947630
Funding program : Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

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Title: Physical Biology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Bristol, UK : Institute of Physics Pub.
Pages: 8 Volume / Issue: 20 (4) Sequence Number: 046003 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1478-3967
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/111076098243000