Possible Essay/Subjective Questions of Kingdom Fungi


How do animals and fungi differ concerning heterotrophy?

  • Animals are heterotrophs by ingestion, and fungi are heterotrophs by absorption.

How are fungal cell walls different from plant cell walls?

  • Fungal cell walls contain chitin, and those of plants contain cellulose.

Describe the function of a fungal spore.

  • A fungal spore can grow into a new organism without fusing with another cell.

What makes members of the chytrids different from all other fungi?

  • Chytrids have flagellated gametes and spores; other fungi are nonmotile at all stages of their life cycle.

What are fungal infections called?

  • Mycoses

Which type of fungus produces most of the known fungal pathogens?

  • Sac fungi.

Name the type of fungi for each of these: puffballs, ergots, athlete’s foot, and black bread mold.

  • Puffballs = Club fungi,
  • Ergots = sac fungi,
  • Athlete’s foot = sac fungi,
  • Black bread mold = zygospore fungi.

What type of symbiotic relationship exists in mycorrhizae?

  • Mutualism

How does a lichen reproduce?

  • Asexually through fragmentation.

What is the relationship between air pollution and the presence of lichens?

  • Lichens become scarce when air is highly polluted.

Historically fungi have been classified as being more plant-like despite their lack of photosynthetic ability. Although we now know that fungi are more closely related to the animals than the plants, review characteristics that initially led scientists to place them closer to the plants.

  • Fungi possess cell walls. Although the composition of these cell walls differs from that of plants, cell walls are completely absent in animals.
  • Fungi are also immobile (except for chytrids), and mobility is a key characteristic of the animals.

The importance of fungi in the evolution of terrestrial life is typically understated. Evaluate the importance of fungi in the colonization of land.

  • The mycorrhizal relationships between the fungi and plants allow plants to make use of nutrient-poor soil.
  • Without the colonization of land by plants, it is unlikely that animals would have diversified to the level they have achieved today. Lichens are important organisms in the colonization of land.
  • Early land masses would have been composed primarily of barren rock, with little or no soil for plant colonization.
  • As lichens colonize an area they begin the process of soil formation, which allows other plant

State the economic importance of fungi.


Based on your understanding of fungi, hypothesize why antibiotics won’t work in the treatment of a fungal infection.

  • Antibiotics are designed to combat prokaryotic organisms and fungi are eukaryotic.
  • In addition, fungi possess a cell wall that has a different chemical constitution (chitin) from that of prokaryotes.

What are the evolutionary advantages for an organism to reproduce both asexually and sexually?

  • Asexual reproduction is fast and best under favourable conditions.
  • Sexual reproduction allows the recombination of genetic traits and increases the odds of developing new adaptations better suited to a changed environment.

Compare plants, animals, and fungi, considering these components: cell wall, chloroplasts, plasma membrane, food source, and polysaccharide storage. Be sure to indicate fungi’s similarities and differences to plants and animals.

  • Animals have no cell walls; fungi have cell walls containing chitin; plants have cell walls containing cellulose.
  • Chloroplasts are absent in both animals and fungi but are present in plants.
  • Animal plasma membranes are stabilized with cholesterol, while fungi plasma membranes are stabilized with ergosterol, and plant plasma membranes are stabilized with phytosterols.
  • Animals obtain N and C from food sources via internal digestion.
  • Fungi obtain N and C from food sources via external digestion.
  • Plants obtain organic N from the environment or through symbiotic N-fixing bacteria; they obtain C from photosynthesis.
  • Animals and fungi store polysaccharides as glycogen, while plants store them as starch.

What is the advantage for a basidiomycete to produce a showy and fleshy fruiting body?

  • By ingesting spores and disseminating them in the environment as waste, animals act as agents of dispersal.
  • The benefit to the fungus outweighs the cost of producing fleshy fruiting bodies.

For each of the four groups of perfect fungi (Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota), compare the body structure and features, and provide an example.

  • Chytridiomycota (Chytrids) may have a unicellular or multicellular body structure; some are aquatic with motile spores with flagella; an example is the Allomyces.
  • Zygomycota (conjugated fungi) have a multicellular body structure; features include zygospores and presence in soil; examples are bread and fruit molds.
  • Ascomycota (sac fungi) may have a unicellular or multicellular body structure; a feature is sexual spores in sacs (asci); examples include the yeasts used in bread, wine, and beer production.
  • Basidiomycota (club fungi) have multicellular bodies; features include sexual spores in the basidiocarp (mushroom) and that they are mostly decomposers; mushroom-producing fungi are an example.

Why does protection from light benefit the photosynthetic partner in lichens?

Protection from excess light that may bleach photosynthetic pigments allows the photosynthetic partner to survive in environments unfavourable to plants.

Why can superficial mycoses in humans lead to bacterial infections?

  • Dermatophytes that colonize skin break down the keratinized layer of dead cells that protects tissues from bacterial invasion.
  • Once the integrity of the skin is breached, bacteria can enter the deeper layers of tissues and cause infections.

Historically, artisanal breads were produced by capturing wild yeasts from the air. Before the development of modern yeast strains, the production of artisanal bread was long and laborious because many batches of dough ended up being discarded. Can you explain this fact?

  • The dough is often contaminated by toxic spores that float in the air.
  • It was one of Louis Pasteur’s achievements to purify reliable strains of baker’s yeast to produce bread consistently.

The very earliest bakers observed that dough left in the air would rise. Unknown to them, yeast from the air “contaminated” the bread, began to grow and produced carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide caused the bread to rise. Later, cooks began to save some soft dough (before much flour was added) from the previous loaf to use in the next loaf. The saved portion was called the mother. What is in the mother, and why was it important to save it in a cool place?

  • While yeast is usually available in the air, the kinds and abundance of yeast would be expected to vary with different weather and climate conditions.
  • By reserving some of the dough of bread that rose in a preferred way, a cook could be sure of having enough yeast of the correct variety for the next loaf.
  • By keeping the mother in a cool place between baking days, the yeast would divide slowly, and not accumulate levels of waste products that would start to kill the yeast.

There seems to be a fine line between symbiosis and parasitism when you examine the relationships between fungi and plants. What hypotheses could explain how different selective pressures may have caused particular fungal species to adopt one or the other relationship? Under what circumstances might a mutualistic relationship evolve between fungi and plants? Under what circumstances might a parasitic relationship evolve?

  • A mutualistic relationship between a fungus and a plant might evolve when environmental conditions are harsh enough that neither can survive well alone.
  • During the transition period between free living and symbiosis, it would be essential that fungus not harm the plant.
  • Varieties that did kill plants would be less successful (leave fewer offspring) than varieties that did not.
  • A parasitism lifestyle might have evolved if there were competition for free space on the ground.
  • An additional requirement would be an abundance of host plants.
  • Since the parasite often kills the host, there must be other hosts available for the fungus to survive.

Provide the name of the parts labelled (a – j) of the diagram below.

Answer: Please refer to note.

Label diagram of bread mold structure and asexual reproduction.

Answer: refer to note

List the importance of Mushroom to the ecosystem.

Answer: refer to note. 

Kingdom Fungi, Phyla, Classification and characteristics.

Join the Enlighten Knowledge Community

Join the Enlighten Knowledge Examination System for question and weekly quiz

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *