Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biophys Chem. 2004 Jan 1;107(1):1-5.

Smart network solutions in an amoeboid organism.

Author information

  • 1Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. nakagaki@es.hokudai.ac.jp

Abstract

We present evidence that the giant amoeboid organism, the true slime mold, constructs a network appropriate for maximizing nutrient uptake. The body of the plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum contains a network of tubular elements by means of which nutrients and chemical signals circulate through the organism. When food pellets were presented at different points on the plasmodium it accumulated at each pellet with a few tubes connecting the plasmodial concentrations. The geometry of the network depended on the positions of the food sources. Statistical analysis showed that the network geometry met the multiple requirements of a smart network: short total length of tubes, close connections among all the branches (a small number of transit food-sites between any two food-sites) and tolerance of accidental disconnection of the tubes. These findings indicate that the plasmodium can achieve a better solution to the problem of network configuration than is provided by the shortest connection of Steiner's minimum tree.

PMID:
14871595
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk