The plasmodium Physarum polycephalum exhibits periodic cycles of cytoplasmic streaming in association with those of contraction and relaxation movement. In the present study, we injected Calcium Green dextran as a fluorescent Ca2+ indicator into the thin-spread living plasmodium. We found changes in the [Ca2+]i (intracellular concentration of Ca2+), which propagated in a wave-like form in its cytoplasm. The Ca2+ waves were also detected when we used Fura dextran which detected [Ca2+]i by the ratio of two wavelengths. We prepared the plasmodial fragment from the thin-spread and found that the cycles of the contraction-relaxation movement was so synchronized that the measurement of its area provided an indication of the movement. We observed that [Ca2+]i also synchronized in the entire fragment and that the relaxation ensued upon the reduction in [Ca2+]i. We suggest that the Ca2+ wave generated periodically is one of the major factors playing a crucial role in the relaxation of P. polycephalum.
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