Response to various periods of mechanical stimuli in Physarum plasmodium

Takuya Umedachi, Kentaro Ito, Ryo Kobayashi, Akio Ishiguro, Toshiyuki Nakagaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Response to mechanical stimuli is a fundamental and critical ability for living cells to survive in hazardous conditions or to form adaptive and functional structures against force(s) from the environment. Although this ability has been extensively studied by molecular biology strategies, it is also important to investigate the ability from the viewpoint of biological rhythm phenomena so as to reveal the mechanisms that underlie these phenomena. Here, we use the plasmodium of the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum as the experimental system for investigating this ability. The plasmodium was repetitively stretched for various periods during which its locomotion speed was observed. Since the plasmodium has inherent oscillation cycles of protoplasmic streaming and thickness variation, how the plasmodium responds to various periods of external stretching stimuli can shed light on the other biological rhythm phenomena. The experimental results show that the plasmodium exhibits response to periodic mechanical stimulation and changes its locomotion speed depending on the period of the stretching stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Article number254002
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 31


  • Physarum polycephalum
  • mechanical stimulation
  • plasmodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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