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Question:
Why is Cryptococus neoformans heterothallic? What does heterothallic mean?



Replies:
Cryptococcus neoformans (sp) is also known as Filobasidiella neoformans. This is a human pathogenic fungus. You can check the taxonomic database at NCBI for the taxonomy of the organism (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) or for scientific publications dealing with this.

If you want to find micro-organisms by a name that is outdated (they change names faster than you can change your hair color) use the following site:

http://www.biosis.org.uk/triton/indexfm.htm

But not that this site does not correct for spelling mistakes.

If you use the encyclopedia Brittannica (http://www.britannica.com) with the entry 'heterothallic' you will get all info you want. An excerpt: "Many fungi produce differentiated male and female organs on the same thallus but do not undergo self-fertilization because their sex organs are incompatible. Such fungi require the presence of thalli of different mating types in order for sexual fusion to take place. The simplest form of this mechanism occurs in fungi in which there are two mating types, often designated + and - (or A and a). Gametes produced by one type of thallus are compatible only with gametes produced by the other type. Such fungi are said to be heterothallic."

I am telling you how I found the information because it if you do not know something, know how to find it.

Trudy Wassenaar



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