Breakthrough Research, D. discoideum
Raper K., Pseudoplasmodium Formation and Organization in Dictyostelium discoideum
In 1940, Kenneth B. Raper explained how the cells of D. discoideum, when in a slug form, are differentiated, meaning they have a predetermined fate. By growing amoebae on Serratia marcescens, a red bacteria, Rapper was able to produce red amoebae, which in turn lead to red slugs. He then grafted the posterior of a red slug with the anterior of a colorless slug, and vise versa. Cells located in the anterior of the slug were to be pre-stalk cells, while cells located in the posterior were to be pre-spore cells.
Brock D. et al., Primitive Agriculture in a Social Amoeba
Preliminary research done in 2011 by Debra Brock, David C. Queller & Joan E. Strassmann showed that a symbiosis exists between D. discoideum and bacteria in the wild. Because most D. discoideum cultured in the lab, the behavior was not observed before Debra Brock chose to work with a wild culture. The observations suggest that D. discoideum, when its amoebae form, do not completely starve itself before entering the aggegration stage. In fact, the D. discoideum keep some bacteria around, with the understanding that they will form a new colony, to create a farming system. When the amoebae have gone through their physical and chemical change, which results in a fruiting body, new spores have something to eat immediately.