The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 551 - 561 (2019)

Vol 63, Issue 8-9-10

Special Issue: The Dictyostelium model system

Teaching a biology laboratory course using Dictyostelium

Published: 11 December 2019

David A. Knecht*,1, Kate M. Cooper2 and Jonathan E. Moore3

1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 2Division of Molecular, Life, and Health Sciences, Loras College, Dubuque, IA and 3Biology Department, Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA


The Dictyostelium discoideum model system is a powerful tool for undergraduate cell biology teaching laboratories. The cells are biologically safe, grow at room temperature and it is easy to experimentally induce, observe, and perturb a breadth of cellular processes making the system amenable to many teaching lab situations and goals. Here we outline the advantages of Dictyostelium, discuss laboratory courses we teach in three very different educational settings, and provide tips for both the novice and experienced Dictyostelium researcher. With this article and the extensive sets of protocols and tools referenced here, implementing these labs, or parts of them, will be relatively straightforward for any instructor.


teaching, education, chemotaxis, cell biology, microscopy

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