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Competition Between Fungi Questions

Question 1

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When genetically similar fungi meet, they may anastomose. Dissimilar fungi have a variety of interactions. The hyphae may become entwined without any obvious ill effect, except for competition for organic carbon and space. However, detrimental interactions are also common. Where hyphae meet, then the interaction is direct, and one actively deters or negatively effects the other through release of digestive enzymes and toxins, followed by death and lysis.

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Question 2

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Hyphae usually become more widely spaced and the angle of branching increases in each individual. Where antagonistic molecules are released by one or both fungi, then compartments may become vacuolated, empty or lysed. The deteriorating hyphae of one may become the source of nutrients of the second. Each of these steps may exist at the same time in the one interaction between two fungi.

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Question 3

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It appears that secondary metabolites are extremely important. They are produced by some fungi almost always during active growth. The mechanism determining which molecule and when are as yet unclear, though reduction in available energy, detection of a competing microbe or change in environment are likely to trigger the release of specific secondary metabolites.

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Question 7

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