The growth of the cellular slime mold, Polysphondylium pallidum, was studied on a semidefined medium in shaken suspension. When the medium contained large quantities of particulate material, growth was more rapid and the cellular size and protein content were smaller than when growth occurred on a medium containing less particulate material. The cellular levels of DNA, RNA, and protein; of lysosomal enzymes (acid phosphatase, acid proteinase); and of peroxisomal enzymes (catalase) were assayed during growth and the subsequent stationary phase that led eventually to encystment. Only DNA remained at a constant cellular level. Encystment of exponentially growing cells could also be initiated by washing them and introducing them into a soluble peptone medium. The rate of encystment was proportional to the osmolarity of this medium. The encystment process was followed with respect to the cellular levels of DNA, RNA, protein, carbohydrates, acid phosphatase, acid ß-N-Ac-glucosaminidase, and catalase. The most dramatic change occurred in the cellular cellulose content, which increased by at least an order of magnitude by the time encystment was morphologically complete. It was concluded that the encystment of this slime mold in suspension exhibits a number of biochemical similarities to the development of this and other cellular slime molds on a surface.

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