2020 Small World in Motion Competition

Cytoplasmic streaming in slime mold

Wim van Egmond

Micropolitan Museum
Berkel en Rodenrijs, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands
10X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Mr. van Egmond is a veteran freelance photographer and no doubt one of the most prolific winners in the Nikon Small World Competitions with nearly 40 images in the winner’s gallery. His latest winning contribution is of slime mold showing cytoplasmic streaming. Slime molds, which were long thought to be fungi, have been subsequently shown to be a type of amoeba. These fascinating creatures have even been shown to be capable of basic learning. Slime molds typically can become very large, easily seen by the naked eye however this microscopic example was tiny enough to offer transparency so the cytoplasmic streaming could be seen. The biggest challenge to imaging this creature is to place it on a microscope slide without harm and keeping it happy enough to display natural behavior. They typically are very slow and therefore a time-lapse over a significant period of time was required.