The plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum reacts to various kinds of chemicals substances and moves towards or away from them. Threshold concentration of recognition of chemicals was examined in terms of membrane potential and of the averaged motive force of tactic movement by using a double-chamber method, i.e., a single plasmodium was placed between two compartments through a narrow ditch, and differences in membrane potential and in pressure between two compartments were measured. Results are summarized as follows: (a) By increasing the concentration of various substances in one compartment, the membrane potential started to change at a certain threshold concentration, C-th, for each chemical. Chemotactic movement of the plasmodium took place at the same threshold concentration. These results held both for attractants (glucose, galactose, phosphates, pyrophosphates, ATP, c-AMP, etc) and for repellents (various inorganic salts, sucrose, fructose, etc.). (b) The threshold concentration, Cth, for inorganic salts decreased remarkably with increase of the valences of cations, zeta, and was proportional to Z-6, I.E., THE Shultze-Hardy rule known in the field of colloid chemistry was found to be applicable. (c) The plasmodium distinguished the species of monovalent cations in the following order: H(Li(K(Na(Rb(Cs(NH-4 Plots of log Cth against the lyotropic number of anion fell on different straight lines for each monovalent cation species. (d) Plots of log Cth, against the reciprocal of the absolute tempe lines were almost the same and gave a value of 12 kcal/mol for the enthalpy change. These results suggest that the recognition of chemical substances appears as the result of a structural change of the membrane at the threshold point, and that the change in membrane structure is transmitted simultaneously to the motile system of the plasmodium.

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