After reading about slime mold I was wondering, do slime mold simply expand outwards or multiply?

e.g. if I put 100 grams of slime mold in 1 location, will it expand to say, 2 locations, and have the 1st location with 80 grams left, and 2nd location with 20 grams (i.e total 100 grams), or is it that they multiply; 1st location still 100 grams, and 2nd location with 20 grams?

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    $\begingroup$ It is difficult to understand your question expressed in grams and locations. I suggest a question about multiplication would be better expressed in number of cells in the first instance, with the size of the cells a second parameter. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Mar 17, 2021 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


The answer is that they will do either or both, depending on conditions: this is one of the things that has caused complex systems scientists to be so interested in things like using slime molds in modeling optimization problems.

In good nutritional conditions, the cells will happily multiply. At the same time, they will flow and reshape themselves to spread and migrate in search of food when nutrients are not uniform.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! Any idea about the growth rate (e.g. multiplications)? I was trying to find it but couldn't. If you are familiar with any paper/sources that would be great! $\endgroup$
    – Penguin
    Mar 17, 2021 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't personally worked with it, just heard about it from colleagues who wanted to do slime-mold computing. $\endgroup$
    – jakebeal
    Mar 17, 2021 at 18:43

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