Lichen is usually cited as an example of ‘symbiosis’

Question:

Lichen is usually cited as an example of ‘symbiosis’ in plants where an algal and a fungal species live together for their mutual benefit. Which of the following will happen if algal and fungal partners are separated from each other?

a. Both will survive and grow normally and independent of each other.

b. Both will die

c. The algal component will survive while the fungal component will die.

d. The fungal component will survive while the algal partner will die. Based on your answer how do you justify this association as symbiosis?

Solution:

(b) Both will die

In the symbiotic relationship between algae & fungi, both are dependent on each other for their basic needs essential for survival. Algal part synthesises food for fungi & fungi takes up water & minerals for algae. If separated, both will die.

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