BIO 203


Slime Mold
My classification of slime mold stops at the Kingdom Protista because the term slime mold is a relatively broad term for any number of organisms; there are upwards of 700 different species of known slime molds. These slime molds fall into two major different phyla; cellular slime molds and plasmodial slime molds. So needless to say, it would be a little bit ridiculous to sit and list all of the different phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species. But I can take you through an example of a common species of slime mold, Physarum polycephalum.

Domain: Eukarya

Slime molds are under the Domain Eukarya because they have membrane-bound organelles, true nuclei, and a plasma membrane.

Kingdom: Protista

Slime molds are classified under the Kingdom Protista because, like other protists, they really don't fit in with other kingdoms! They are motile like animals but some are unicellular so they can not be classified as animals. Slime molds are an odd-ball group, so like other odd-balls, they get thrown in with the protists.

Phylum: Myxomycota

This particular slime mold is under the phylum Mycetozoa because it is a spore bearing slime mold and is truly multicellular, unlike plasmodial slime molds.

Class: Myxomycetes

This slime mold is considered a Myxomycete because it is a true plasmodial slime mold.

Order: Physarales

Family: Physaraceae

Genus: Physarum

Species: Physarum polycephalum

The species name "poly" means many while "cephalum" means head. So this slime molds name really means "many headed slime."

Phylogenetic Tree

This tree shows the place of cellular and plasmodial slime molds under the supergroup system of organizing the different groups of organisms. The slime molds fall under the title of Amoebozoa.

This tree shows where slime molds fall in compared to animals, bacteria, and archaea. It also shows the closer relatives which slime molds are clearly closer related to animals based on their characteristics than any kind of bacteria or archaea.

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