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J Cell Biochem. 1988 Jun;37(2):177-92.

"Dynamic Morphology System": a method for quantitating changes in shape, pseudopod formation, and motion in normal and mutant amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum.

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Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


An automated, video-driven system was used to measure approximately 30 parameters of cell motion and accompanying changes in shape. This "Dynamic Morphology System" is based upon the Expertvision Motion Analysis System and is driven by a SUN computer. With the aid of this system, amoebic movement and shape changes were compared for vegetative wild-type Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae and a motility mutant, Mo-1. The measured parameters included speed, angle change, bearing, length, width, roundness, boundary flow, and curvature; and cell behavior was visualized monitoring amoebic tracks, difference pictures, and a newly developed ring expansion plot. Wild-type cells remained elongated, moved continuously and retained polarity throughout migration. In contrast, Mo-1 did not translocate, was round rather than elongated, formed bulges rather than elongated pseudopods, and exhibited no polarity. In contrast to the anterior f-action distribution in wild-type cells, f-actin in Mo-1 was distributed evenly as a shell just under the entire plasma membrane, a distribution consistent with the lack of polar cytoplasmic expansion.

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