GRE Subject Test: Biology : Understanding Fungal Structures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Fungi

Which of the following compounds is incorporated into the fungal cell wall?

Possible Answers:

Phospholipids

Cellulose

Chitin

Peptidoglycan

Correct answer:

Chitin

Explanation:

Fungi, bacteria, and plants all use cell walls to protect cells and maintain cell structure. The composition of the cell wall varies between kingdoms. Fungi use chitin as the primary component of cell wall structure. Plants use cellulose and bacteria use peptidoglycan.

All cells use phospholipids to construct the cell membrane, which is located interior to the cell wall.

Example Question #2 : Fungi

What characteristic do both all plants and fungi have in common?

Possible Answers:

Both use photosynthesis for energy production

They have nothing in common

Both use chitin primarily in their cell walls

Both use spores to propagate

Both consist of eukaryotic cells

Correct answer:

Both consist of eukaryotic cells

Explanation:

Both plants and fungi consist of eukaryotic cells. Their cells contain membrane-enclosed nuclei and organelles which is a defining characteristic of eukaryotic cells.

Fungi do not photosynthesize. While seedless plants and fungi use spores, this trait is not common to all plants. Plant cell walls are composed of collagen, while fungi use chitin.

Example Question #2 : Fungi

An antifungal cream advertises to chemically attack the fungal cells without harming the skin. The antifungal chemical most likely acts on which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Eukaryotic membranes

There is not enough information provided

Chitin

The nucleus

Mitochondria

Correct answer:

Chitin

Explanation:

The antifungal compound is likely specific to chitin, as it is a common material of many fungi cell wall structures. Chitin is resistant to breakdown, and is actually found in insect exoskeletons. The incorrect answers are found in skin cells as well as fungal cells, and would harm the skin if the chemical attacked these structures.

Example Question #5 : Fungi

Fungal hyphae form a mesh of tissue that infiltrates food sources and absorbs nutrients. This tissue structure is called __________.

Possible Answers:

Mycelium

Fungal roots

Zygospores

Gametangia

None of these

Correct answer:

Mycelium

Explanation:

Congregation of hyphae form mycelium, the tissue that allows fungi to absorb nutrients from surrounding food sources. Often, the majority of mycelium mass is not visible to the observer. "Fungal roots" is a misleading answer, even though mycelium looks similar to root structures of plants. Gametangia is where gametes are produced in the fungus.

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