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Question Video: Describing the Members of Kingdom Fungi Biology

Which of the following best describes members of kingdom Fungi? [A] They are heterotrophic organisms which are only parasitic and have no cell walls. [B] They are free-living heterotrophic organisms which have no cell walls and reproduce by binary fission. [C] They are mobile heterotrophic organisms which may be parasitic or saprophytic and have cell walls. [D] They are heterotrophic organisms which may be parasitic or saprophytic and have cell walls.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following best describes members of kingdom Fungi? (A) They are heterotrophic organisms which are only parasitic and have no cell walls. (B) They are free-living heterotrophic organisms which have no cell walls and reproduce by binary fission. (C) They are mobile heterotrophic organisms which may be parasitic or saprophytic and have cell walls. Or (D) they are heterotrophic organisms which may be parasitic or saprophytic and have cell walls.

This question is asking us to recall what we know about the members of the Fungus kingdom and then to choose the answer that best describes their characteristics. So we’ll start with what we already know about fungi. Often when we picture members of the Fungus kingdom, we might imagine mushrooms sprouting from a dead fallen tree. By thinking of mushrooms as an example of a member of the Fungus kingdom, we’re able to recall some key characteristics. This mushroom is multicellular. It reproduces by making spores. It gets its nutrition from dead or decaying material by decomposing it. And it doesn’t move around on its own, so it can be described as immobile.

Now, we can add to this information with some other things that we know about fungi. We know that some fungi are unicellular, as we know that yeast are also a member of the Fungus kingdom. We also know that fungi can reproduce sexually or asexually, since spores can either develop into a new organism on their own or be used in sexual reproduction with a spore from another fungus. We know that fungi are heterotrophic organisms because they absorb their nutrients from living or once-living organisms in their surroundings. And we know that, like immobile plants, fungal cells are surrounded and supported by a cell wall, even though the cell wall of fungi is different from the cell wall of plants.

So now we’re ready to choose the best answer. Two of our answer choices state that the members of kingdom Fungi have no cell walls, so we know that these two options are incorrect. Another answer choice states that fungi are mobile, which we know is also incorrect. Fungi are immobile, which means they cannot move around on their own. So we’ve been able to eliminate three of the four options. But let’s check the fourth one to make sure that it’s correct.

The remaining answer choice states that fungi are heterotrophic organisms, which we’ve already stated is true. It goes on to state that fungi maybe parasitic or saprophytic. A parasite is an organism that lives in or on a host and causes that host harm. And a saprophytic organism is one that breaks down decaying matter and absorbs nutrients from it. Well, we know that fungi are heterotrophic decomposers. And the fact they may be parasites is not surprising. Finally, this answer choice states that fungi have cell walls, which is a fact that we’ve already confirmed.

So, the answer choice that best describes the members of kingdom Fungi is that they are heterotrophic organisms which may be parasitic or saprophytic and have cell walls.

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