MCAT Biology : Fungi

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Fungi

A fungus that always reproduces asexually is most likely classified as __________.

Possible Answers:

Asomycetes

Zygomycetes

Microsporidia

Basidomycetes

Deuteromycetes

Correct answer:

Deuteromycetes

Explanation:

Fungi are typically characterized based on reproductive methods and structures. All fungi can reproduce asexaully, but only deuteromycetes lack a sexual reproduction phase, only reproducing asexually.

Example Question #32 : Divisions Of Life And Viruses

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

Possible Answers:

Both use photosynthesis for energy production

Both consist of eukaryotic cells

They have nothing in common

Both use spores to propagate

Both use chitin primarily in their cell walls

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 #3 : 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:

Mitochondria

Eukaryotic membranes

Chitin

There is not enough information provided

The nucleus

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 #1 : Fungi

A scientist is interested in genetically engineering a fungus that has a limited reproductive process so that it does not accidentally cross breed with other fungi in the laboratory. Which process should be disrupted to hinder fungal reproduction?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Spore formation

Nutrient absorption

Mycelium formation

Septa formation

Correct answer:

Spore formation

Explanation:

Most fungi reproduce by creating microscopic spores, which are reproductive cells than can be dispersed by wind, water, or animals. Spores can be generated sexually or asexually. If the scientist disrupts spore formation, the fungus will not be able to spread spores to other areas of the laboratory.

Inhibition of spore formation would limit the fungus's ability to reproduce over distance, however fungi have multiple methods of reproduction and would still be able to generate progeny even if spore production is disabled.

Example Question #4 : 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

Gametangia

Zygospores

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.

Example Question #2 : Fungi

Fungi can reproduce in all of the following manners except __________.

Possible Answers:

vegetatively

by axsexual spores

by sexual spores

by binary fission

Correct answer:

by binary fission

Explanation:

Binary fission occurs in prokaryotes and is a form of asexual reproduction. Fungi are considered haploid eukaryotes and undergo reproduction through processes like asexual spore release, vegetative reproduction, and sexual spore release. Asexual spores do not have DNA mixing, while sexual spores do have DNA mixing. Vegetative reproduction is when part of the fungus breaks off and forms a new fungus.

Example Question #36 : Divisions Of Life And Viruses

The life cycle of most fungi is best described by which of the following statements?

Possible Answers:

Fungi only reproduce asexually

None of these

Fungi have both sexual and asexual portions of their life cycle

Fungi are unique and have different mechanisms of reproduction

Fungi only reproduce sexually

Correct answer:

Fungi have both sexual and asexual portions of their life cycle

Explanation:

Most fungi have a life cycle that consists of both sexual and asexual periods. Spores can be produced sexually or asexually, depending on the availability of male or female gametes. This has provided an advantage to fungi to be able to spread and propagate in a variety of environments.

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