Thin-spread plasmodia of Physarum were subjected to extraction procedures using 50% glycerol or DMSO (dimethylsulphoxide) followed by labelling of actin with fluorescent phallotoxins. During the reactivation of the actomyosin system by 2 mM-MgATP fluorescent actin fibres contract isotonically, which results in numerous fluorescent ‘contraction beads’. After short-term extraction 1 mM-Ca2+ has an inhibitory effect on the reactivation. This calcium sensitivity is abolished after long-term extraction with glycerol. Calcium at 10 mM irreversibly inhibits reactivation, irrespective of the duration of extraction. The inhibitory effect of 10 mM-calcium is prevented by phallotoxin labelling prior to incubation in Ca2+. The DMSO model shows an improvement in structural preservation when compared with the glycerol models. However, reactivation is inhibited by prolonged treatment with DMSO.

This content is only available via PDF.