Axenically grown cells of D. discoideum Ax-2 harvested in the log phase of growth, cohere rapidly when shaken in phosphate buffer. After 3.5 days in the stationary phase of growth, cells become completely non-cohesive. Although they do not stick to each other, stationary phase cells do stick to both log phase cells and aggregation-competent cells. The cohesion of stationary phase cells with these other 2 cell types is inhibited by both EDTA and the low-molecular-weight factor which we have previously demonstrated in stationary-phase growth medium. There is a decline in the sensitivity of slime mould cell cohesion to the low-molecular-weight inhibitory factor as the cells become aggregation-competent. This effect parallels the developmentally-regulated decline in sensitivity to EDTA. The low-molecular-weight inhibitor is not a chelating agent, however. The effect of the inhibitor seems to be specifically against contact sites-B mediated cohesion. We suggest that the simplest cohesive mechanism which can explain our results, is that the EDTA-sensitive cohesion of log phase cells could be dependent on a ligand-receptor system.

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