SUMMARY: When subcultures of the aux-2 and aux-4 strains of which had been grown for more than four years in axenic shake culture, were transferred to non-axenic surface culture they displayed progressively shorter lifespans (older axenic surface cultures yield shorter lived non-axenic cultures). Similar subcultures transferred to axenic agar medium also underwent senescent-like events. These subcultures, after a period of vigorous growth, displayed a slower growth rate, reduced cytoplasmic streaming, loss of yellow pigment, and eventually they fragmented into a number of small spherical structures with the concomitant lysis of most of the plasmodium. In non-axenic culture these structures quickly degenerated (and disappeared from the culture); however, in axenic culture they revived and after several days produced new vigorous plasmodia. Following a period of vigorous growth the plasmodium again underwent senescent-like events. This cycle of senescence and growth was repeated a number of times before death finally occurred.


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