Yeasts, Molds and Mushrooms

Yeasts, Molds and Mushrooms



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Basem Jaber
Department of Biology
The University of Jordan
Amman, Jordan

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This video lesson examines the many beneficial aspects of a very important group of organisms - fungi. Students will learn about fungi and their role in nature and will be introduced to the general structure of different fungi. This lesson focuses on the importance of fungi in every day life – in the bread we eat, the medicines we rely on and the mushrooms on our pizzas! There are no prerequisites for this lesson, and it can be completed easily within a 50-60-minute class period. Materials needed for the lesson include: yeast cells; brown sugar; a 150 ml beaker or bottle; a stirring rod; a 10 ml glass test tube; and a deflated balloon. In-class activities for between the video segments include simple experiments and discussions.

Instructor Biography

Professor Jaber received his Ph.D. degree from Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA. His dissertation focused on gene regulation in pathogenic fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. He later joined Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, USA and studied mammalian transcriptional regulation. Currently he is an assistant professor of mycology and molecular biology in the department of biological sciences at Jordan University in Amman, Jordan. His research interest is focused on gene regulation of virulence factors in the pathogenic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida glabrata. These virulence factors are known to enable the fungi to invade and colonize mammalian tissue.

Additional Online Resources

This site provides a lesson plan of an interesting and unusual way to introduce students to the kingdom of Fungi. Students learn about the historical impact of a particularly toxic fungus, before taking a more in-depth look at this fascinating kingdom.

This examination of Fungi is sponsored by the Tree of Life Web Project, a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history (phylogeny).

This site, sponsored by the University of California Museum of Paleontology, presents a very comprehensive study of Fungi from several angles, including: fossil record; history and ecology; systematics and morphology.

This site, hosted by the Utah State University Intermountain Herbarium, presents interesting and fun facts about fungi.