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Theme - How do fungi multiply and diperse

The fundamental issues are that fungi have diverse modes of reproduction, and they form and disperse huge numbers of propagules. As a consequence, only a tiny proportion need germinate and establish a colony to maintain the population. Whenever conditions favour germination and establishment, the size of the population can increase explosively.

Some fungi reproduce infrequently. The thallus of these fungi exists as a series of interlinked compartments, which expand and contract, fuse and shatter, according to the environmental conditions. Thus over time, these fungi are largely invariant. Other fungi have short life cycles, and they have sexual or asexual processes that enable continuation over time.

Like most eukatyotic organisms, the genetics of fungi is based on understanding the behaviour of chromosomes, especially during divisions of the cell. Recombination of genetic materials in the fungi and selection of partners for chromosomal reorganisation form the bases for the differences between fungi and other eukaryotic organisms.

This section of the course is broken into the following topics:

Compatibility and sterility

Behaviour of nuclei in the thallus

Recombination of genetic material

Formation of sexual structures

Spore release

Spore dispersal

Spore germination

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