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Module 14 in the Syllabus

Fungi Images
Image gallery for study with links to larger teaching JPEGs for classroom presentation

Question Drill for Fungi
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test

Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle

Basic Puzzle Solution

Conceptual Vocabulary
FungiThe fungi are heterotrophic organisms characterized by a chitinous cell wall as well as filamentous growth as multicellular hyphae in the majority of species.
SporeA spore is a reproductive structure that is adapted for dispersion and surviving for extended periods of time in unfavorable conditions.
HyphaA hypha is a long, branching filamentous cell of a fungus.
MyceliumMycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.
BuddingBudding is the formation of a new organism by the protrusion of part of another organism.
MycorrhizaA mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a plant.
YeastYeasts are a growth form of eukaryotic microorganisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with approximately 1,500 species described.
SaprotrophA saprotroph (or saprobe) is an organism that obtains its nutrients from non-living organic matter, usually dead and decaying plant or animal matter, by absorbing soluble organic compounds.
LichenLichens are symbiotic associations of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner that can produce food for the fungus from sunlight.
SporangiumA sporangium is a plant or fungal structure producing and containing spores.
BasidiomycotaBasidiomycota are filamentous fungi composed of hyphae (except for those forming yeasts), and reproducing sexually via the formation of specialized club-shaped end cells called basidia.
AscomycotaAscomycota is a phylum of fungi whose members are commonly known as the sac fungi.
ZygomycotaZygomycota, or zygote fungi, are a phylum of fungi. Their name comes from the zygosporangia where spherical spores are formed within members of the phylum.
BasidiosporeA basidiospore is a reproductive spore produced by basidiomycete fungi.
MycologyMycology is the study of fungi.
AscusAn ascus is the sexual spore-bearing cell produced in ascomycete fungi.
AscosporeAn ascospore is the name for a spore contained in an ascus or that was produced inside an ascus of an ascomycete fungi.
AscocarpAn ascocarp, or ascoma, is the fruiting body of an ascomycete fungus, consisting of very tightly interwoven hyphae containing millions of asci.
BasidiumA basidium is a microscopic, spore-producing structure found on the hymenophore of fruiting bodies of basidiomycete fungi.
BasidiocarpA basidiocarp or basidiome is the sporocarp of a basidiomycete.
CoenocyteA coenocyte is a multinucleate cell.
HymeniumThe hymenium is the tissue layer on the hymenophore of a fungal fruiting body where the cells develop into basidia or asci, which produce spores.
PuffballThe distinguishing feature of puffballs is that the basidiocarp opens only after the spores have been released from the basidia.
StipeA stipe refers to the stem or stalk-like feature supporting the cap of a mushroom.
Advanced terms that may appear in context in MCAT passages
PileusThe pileus is the technical name for what is commonly known as the cap of a fungal fruiting body.
PlasmogamyPlasmogamy is a stage in the sexual reproduction of certain fungi in which the cytoplasm of two parent mycelia fuse together without the fusion of nuclei, as occurs in higher terrestrial fungi.
DikaryonA dikaryon is a nuclear feature which is unique to some fungi, in which after plasmogamy the two compatible nuclei of two cells pair off and cohabit without karyogamy within the cells of the hyphae.
HaustoriumA haustorium is the hyphal tip of a parasitic fungus that penetrates the host's tissue, but stays outside the host cell membrane.
PolyporePolypores are a group of tough, leathery poroid mushrooms similar to boletes, but typically lacking a distinct stalk.
ParaphysesParaphyses are sterile filamentous hyphal end cells composing part of the hymenium of Ascomycota and Basidiomycota interspersed among either the asci or basidia respectively.
CystidiumA cystidium is a relatively large cell found on the hymenium of a basidiomycete (for example, on the surface of a mushroom gill), often between clusters of basidia.
CroziersCroziers are anatomical features of many fungi in the phylum Ascomycota that form at the base of asci and look like hook-topped shepherd's staffs.

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