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Rhizomorphs Questions

Question 1

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Answer 1

The most common method is by hyphal elongation. However, the distance a single hypha can elongate is unknown. More commonly, dispersal of fungi takes place by means of spores. A few fungi elongate by strands or rhizomorphs. These enable connection between sources up to one metre distant.

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Question 2

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Answer 2

The difference is only at the extremes of form. Rhizomorphs have a more complex structure in which the outer layer gains a waxy coat and becomes melanised. The inner core of the rhizomorph may have cells which are coarser and thin walled. Strands are essentially a collection of hyphae united under genetic control. The level of specialisation of function appears limited.

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Question 3

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The outer layer is thick-walled and contains a waxy, hydrophobic inclusion. Thus water loss is slowed in the walls of the hyphae, and stopped by the waxy coating.

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Question 4

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This question is hard to answer. Rhizomorphs are formed in culture on nutrient-rich agar, where the environment might be the opposite of what would be expected to induce their formation. In general terms, a reduction in organic carbon which severely stresses a mycelium might be argued as the main trigger for their formation. Low temperatures and low water potential might also slow their formation.

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Question 5

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Question 7

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