Teaching Tools

Teaching Tools Using Dictyostelium discoideum

Dictyostelium discoideum is a great organism to use to teach cellular biology. It exhibits very interesting behaviors, such as chemotaxis and phagocytosis, that can readily be studied in standard laboratories without the need for expensive equipment.

The following are lists of labs being used in real courses settings and provide all necessary information for performing those experiments.

Dictyostelium cell biology course, by Dr. David Knecht, University of Connecticut

Dictyostelium cell biology, by Dr. Derrick Brazill, Hunter College, New York

Report on the number of cells in a slug, contributed by John Bonner

  • PDF file

  • Practical on chemotaxis, by Dr. Thierry Soldati, University of Geneva

    Includes a compilation of comments and suggestions received by Thierry Soldati

    These are pdf files.

    Comments from Researchers

    References suggested by contributors

    • Edelstein-Keshet, L (1988) Mathematical Models in Biology, McGraw Hill, (originally published by Random House/Birkhauser)
      ISBN 394-35507-5
    • Finney R, Varnum B, Soll DR. 1979.  "Erasure" in Dictyostelium: a dedifferentiation involving the programmed loss of chemotactic functions. Dev Biol. 73(2):290-303.
      PMID: 499669
    • Gauthier ML, O'Day DH, 2001. Detection of calmodulin-binding proteins and calmodulin-dependent phosphorylation linked to calmodulin-dependent chemotaxis to folic and cAMP in Dictyostelium. Cell Signal 13(8):575-84.
      PMID: 11483410
    • Hadwiger,J.A.,and J.Srinivasan, 1999. Folic acid stimulation of the Ga 4 G protein-mediated signal transduction pathway inhibits anterior prestalk cell development in Dictyostelium. Differentiation 64:195-204.
      PMID: 10408952
    • Konijn TM, Van Haastert PJ. 1987.  Measurement of chemotaxis in Dictyostelium. Methods Cell Biol. 1987; 28:283-98.
      PMID: 3600409
    • Kuwayama H, Ishida S, Van Haastert PJ. 1993. Non-chemotactic Dictyostelium discoideum mutants with altered cGMP signal transduction. J Cell Biol. 1993 Dec;123(6 Pt 1):1453-62.
      PMID: 7902839
    • O'Day, D.H., 1979. Aggregation during sexual development in Dictyostelium discoideum. Can. J. Microbiol. 25: 1416-1426.
      PMID: 231480
    • Parent C.A. 2000. Dictyostelium cell dynamics, Current Protocols in Cell Biology (J.S. Bonifacino, M. Dasso, J. Lippincott-Schwartz, J.B. Harford, K.M. Yamada; Eds. John Wiley & Sons Press), Vol. 1, Unit 12.5
    • Rifkin JL. 2002. Quantitative analysis of the behavior of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae: stringency of pteridine reception. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 51(1):39-48.
      PMID 11810695
    • Margaret Nelson's web site: http://merlin.alleg.edu/employee/m/mnelson/courses/Bio290/Dicty.html

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