Peridial Calcification in the Myxomycetes

  • Jean D. Schoknecht
  • Harold W. Keller


Calcareous peridia are produced by some Myxomycetes during sporulation. At least five basic chemical types of calcareous deposits are recognized which have taxonomic significance at the generic, family or ordinal level. These are: (1) calcium carbonate with calcium phosphate in globular form; (2) crystalline calcium carbonate; (3) globular or cryptocrystalline calcium carbonate; (4) calcium oxalate and; (5) silicates of calcium. Localization of cytoplasmic calcium is similar to that previously described for other species in the Physarales. Calcium is sequestered in mitochondria and vesicles and on vacuolar and cell membranes as seen with TEM, pyroantimonate binding and EDX. Calcium is concentrated near the peridial surface through invaginations of the plasmalemma and may be mobilized from mitochondria and other cytoplasmic sources by vacuoles. Calcium is also associated with a peridial matrix which is apparently seen as fibrillar layers of polysaccharide or mucopolysaccharide in early stages of sporulation. During later stages of sporulation, calcium is sequestered most densely in the external areas of fibrillar polysaccharide. TEM, SEM and HVEM all document the presence of a peridial matrix into which calcium is both deposited and where its final shape is determined. The peridial matrix is a network of fibrous polysaccharide with a mesh of varying pore sizes. Channels and pores opening onto the peridial surface are a regular feature. The pores in the matrix of the fibrillar peridium may influence the final site of deposition of calcareous material. Final morphology of myxomycete peridia and crystalline deposits is influenced in part by the chemical composition of the deposited calcareous material and also by the fibrillar polysaccharide matrix.


Calcium Carbonate Calcareous Deposit Calcium Oxalate Physarum Polycephalum Electron Dense Precipitate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean D. Schoknecht
    • 1
  • Harold W. Keller
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyIllinois Natural History SurveyChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyThe University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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