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Advanced Taxonomy Questions

Question 1

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Answer 1

You will need information on whether regularly spaced septae are present, simple pores are found in the septae and conidia are produced. The fungus is unlikely to be a yeast, but if so, it would be wise to check the number of laminations in the walls; there should be two.


Question 2

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Answer 2

This is a similar question to the last one. You would expect to find hyphae with simple pores in regularly spaced septae. The walls of the hyphae would be bilayered.


Question 3

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Answer 3

Sugar fungi tend to be members of the Zygomycota. You would look for fast growing fungi having hyphae that lack primary septae, and form sporangiospores and zygospores.


Question 4

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Answer 4

This information will take a little chasing to find. The sac-like structure is probably a holocarpic thallus. By examining the types of thallus formed by each division, you will find that sporangia of some Chytridiomycota form this type of structure. In fact, the ostiole is an exit tube for the release of zoospores. If you ever examine stained roots collected from the field, empty sporangia will be common.


Question 5

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Answer 5

Sexual spores are formed in sac-like structures of the Zygomycota and the Ascomycota. A few members of the Zygomycota are known to be homothallic, thus able to be self-fertile. Further, zygospores are formed in a zygosporangium, or sac which has attachments on either side. Attachments are lacking in the ascus.



Question 6

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Answer 6

This is not a simple question. The type of spore that contains a single allele at one locus must be haploid, or homozygous diploid. Conidia of Ascomycota are haploid, and Basidiomycota usually haploid. Nuclei go through meiosis prior to delimitation of ascospores and the resultant ascospores are haploid. If the fungus was heterozygous at that locus, then both alleles would be found in spores of a single ascus. Thus if you inoculate many single spores under the skin and each results in a reaction, then the spores might be either conidia, or ascospores from a homozygous fungus.


Question 7

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Answer 7

The answer to this question requires a similar examination of the genetic status of spore of each division. Ascospores and basidiospores are haploid. Zygospores are diploid, ie both alleles are present on different chromosomes, and in this question, the specific fungus would have to be homozygous. The answer is Zygomycota.


Question 8

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Answer 8

While this is not a question about laboratory setup, you do have to consider the fungi in toto. You require morphological, ultrastructural, biochemical and molecular information. The second aspect is which information needs to be obtained quickly. A complete answer would indicate the differences between members of each division, and a sequence whereby you examined each fungus. Thus there is no one answer. Each person is likely to develop an enquiry tree to suit their interests and thinking. For instance, I would commence with visual examination under the microscope to identify any spores and the structure which supports them. My second stage would be to examine septae, wall structure, growth on media and expression of enzymes. Finally, I would consider DNA based probes, if these are available to distinguish members of each division.