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MCAT Biology Question — Fungi

  • by John
  • Jul 18, 2014
  • MCAT Biology, MCAT Blog, MCAT Question of the Day

All of the following statements characterize most fungi EXCEPT:

 

a) they are saprophytic

 

b) they release spores

 

c) they have a chitin cell wall

 

d) a fungal infection can be eliminated with antibiotics

 

 

Explanation

 

Most fungi are saprophytic, taking much of their nourishment from dead or decaying organic matter. Fungi are also considered eukaryotic heterotrophs; they secrete digestive enzymes outside of their bodies and then absorb the products. During growth, fungi consist of multi-branched structures called hyphae, forming a mycelium. Some hyphae release haploid spores.

 

Fungi have cell walls called septa, made of the polysaccharide chitin.

 

Fungi can produce sexually and asexually. If conditions are good for the parent, asexual reproduction occurs by budding. If the parent experiences a challenging environment, sexual reproduction between hyphae of different mating types may produce an offspring more suited to the environment.

 

a) they are saprophytic, incorrect.

 

b) they release spores, incorrect.

 

c) they have a chitin cell wall, incorrect.

 

d) a fungal infection can be eliminated with antibiotics, correct, Fungi do not respond to antibiotics. This is high yield and a common trap answer on the MCAT.

 

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