Slime moulds or consumer – decomposer protists
They were included in class myxomycetes of fungi in two-kingdom classification. They were called mycetozoa by DeBary as they are closely related to animals. Mycologists include them in gymnomycota. Because of their nature they are called protistan fungi.
General characteristics of the slime moulds are :
- They are usually free- living, creeping over debris like fallen leaves and rotting logs of wood.
- They have naked protoplast, not covered by any cell wall in vegetative stage.
- They lack chlorophyll and have saprobic or phagotrophic mode of nutrition.
- During life cycle they are amoeboid and non-cellulosic, but spores have cellulosic wall so that their vegetative phase resemble with animals while reproductive phase resemble with plants.
- Amoeboid plasmodial stage resembles protozoa and spore forming nature is like fungi
- Spores are extremely resistant and survive for many years , even under adverse conditions. The spores are dispersed by air currents.
7.Reproduction is both asexual and sexual.
This group is represented by two separate type of organisms i.e. acellular and cellular.