Echinostelium is a genus of slime mould, and the only genus in the family Echinosteliaceae,[1] or Echinosteliidae.[2] It was discovered by Heinrich Anton de Bary in 1855, apparently near Frankfurt am Main.[3] Some species of Echinostelium have a sexual life cycle; others have been shown to be asexual.[4] The plasmodium can divide vegetatively, in a process called plasmotomy, to distinguish it from true cell division.[5]


The genus Echinostelium comprises at least five species:[6]


  1. ^ Constantine J. Alexopoulos & T. E. Brooks (1971). "Taxonomic studies in the Myxomycetes. III. Clastodermataceae: a new family of the Echinosteliales". Mycologia. 63 (4): 925–928. doi:10.2307/3758063. JSTOR 3758063. 
  2. ^ Lynn Margulis, Michael J. Chapman (2009). "Pr-23 Myxomycota". Kingdoms and Domains: an illustrated guide to the phyla of life on earth (4th ed.). Elsevier. pp. 190–191. ISBN 978-0-7167-3027-9. 
  3. ^ Constantine J. Alexopoulos (1960). "Morphology and laboratory cultivation of Echinostelium minutum". American Journal of Botany. 47 (1): 37–43. doi:10.2307/2439491. JSTOR 2439491. 
  4. ^ Clark, J.; Haskins, E.F. (2010). "Reproductive systems in the myxomycetes: a review" (PDF). Mycosphere. 1 (4): 337–353. 
  5. ^ Helmut W. Sauer (1982). "Lives of a true slime mould". Developmental biology of Physarum. Volume 11 of Developmental and cell biology series. Cambridge University Press. pp. 7–35. ISBN 978-0-521-22703-2. 
  6. ^ T. W. May (2003). "Echinosteliales". Basidiomycota p.p. & Myxomycota p.p. Volume 2 of Catalogue and bibliography of Australian macrofungi. CSIRO Publishing. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-0-643-06907-7. 

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