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U I. FUNGI (Mycology) u Diverse group of heterotrophs. u Many are ecologically important saprophytes (consume dead and decaying matter) u Others are parasites.

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Presentation on theme: "U I. FUNGI (Mycology) u Diverse group of heterotrophs. u Many are ecologically important saprophytes (consume dead and decaying matter) u Others are parasites."— Presentation transcript:

1 u I. FUNGI (Mycology) u Diverse group of heterotrophs. u Many are ecologically important saprophytes (consume dead and decaying matter) u Others are parasites. u Most are multicellular, but yeasts are unicellular. u Most are aerobes or facultative anaerobes. u Cell walls are made up of chitin (polysaccharide). u Over 100,000 fungal species identified. Only about 100 are human or animal pathogens. u Most human fungal infections are nosocomial and/or occur in immunocompromised individuals (opportunistic infections). u Fungal diseases in plants cause over 1 billion dollars/year in losses.

2 CHARACTERISTICS OF FUNGI 1. Yeasts u Unicellular fungi, nonfilamentous, typically oval or spherical cells. Reproduce by mitosis: u Fission yeasts: Divide evenly to produce two new cells (Schizosaccharomyces). u Budding yeasts: Divide unevenly by budding (Saccharomyces). Budding yeasts can form pseudohypha, a short chain of undetached cells. Candida albicans invade tissues through pseudohyphae. u Yeasts are facultative anaerobes, which allows them to grow in a variety of environments. u When oxygen is available, they carry out aerobic respiration. u When oxygen is not available, they ferment carbohydrates to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide.

3 CHARACTERISTICS OF FUNGI (Continued) 2. Molds and Fleshy Fungi u Multicellular, filamentous fungi. u Identified by physical appearance, colony characteristics, and reproductive spores. u Thallus: Body of a mold or fleshy fungus. Consists of many hyphae. u Hyphae (Sing: Hypha): Long filaments of cells joined together. u Septate hyphae: Cells are divided by cross-walls (septa). u Coenocytic (Aseptate) hyphae: Long, continuous cells that are not divided by septa. Hyphae grow by elongating at the tips. Each part of a hypha is capable of growth. u Vegetative Hypha: Portion that obtains nutrients. u Reproductive or Aerial Hypha: Portion connected with reproduction. u Mycelium: Large, visible, filamentous mass made up of many hyphae.

4 Characteristics of Fungal Hyphae: Septate versus Coenocytic

5 Mycelium: Large, Visible Mass of Hyphae

6 CHARACTERISTICS OF FUNGI (Continued) Dimorphic Fungi u Can exist as both multicellular fungi (molds) and yeasts. u Many pathogenic species. u Mold form produces aerial and vegetative hyphae. u Yeast form reproduces by budding. u Dimorphism in pathogenic fungi typically depends on temperature: u At 37 o C: Yeast form. u At 25 o C: Mold form. u Dimorphism in nonpathogenic fungi may depend on other factors: Carbon dioxide concentration.

7 LIFE CYCLE OF FUNGI u Filamentous fungi can reproduce asexually by fragmentation of their hyphae. u Fungal spores are formed from aerial hyphae and are used for both sexual and asexual reproduction. 1. Asexual spores: Formed by the aerial hyphae of one organism. New organisms are identical to parent. u Conidiospore: Unicellular or multicellular spore that is not enclosed in a sac. u Chlamydospore: Thick-walled spore formed within a hyphal segment. u Sporangiospore: Asexual spore formed within a sac (sporangium). 2. Sexual spores: Formed by the fusion of nuclei from two opposite mating strains of the same species. New organisms are different from both parents.

8 IMPORTANT DIVISIONS OF FUNGI 1. Deuteromycota u Not known to produce sexual spores. u Reproduce asexually. u Catch-all category for unclassified fungi: u Pneumocystis carinii: Causes pneumonia in AIDS patients. Leading cause of death in AIDS patients. Originally classified as a protozoan. u Candida albicans: Causes yeast infections of vagina in women. Opportunistic infections of mucous membranes in AIDS patients.

9 Opportunistic Infection by Candida albicans in an AIDS Patient Source: Atlas of Clinical Oral Pathology, 1999

10 IMPORTANT DIVISIONS OF FUNGI 2. Zygomycota (Conjugation Fungi) u Also known as bread molds. u Saprophytic molds with coenocytic hyphae (lack septa). u Asexual Reproduction: Used most of the time. Sporangiospore: Asexual spore enclosed within a sporangium or sac at the end on an aerial hypha. u Sexual Reproduction: Occurs through conjugation, the joining of hypha of two different strains (plus and minus). Zygospores: Sexual spores which are enclosed in a thick, resistant wall. u Generally not pathogens. u Rhizopus nigricans: Common black bread mold. May cause opportunistic infections in diabetes patients

11 Life Cycle of a Zygomycete: Black Bread Mold (Rhizopus) Reproduces Asexually and Sexually

12 Reproductive Structures of Zygomycete (Rhizopus) Sporangia (asexual) and Zygospore (sexual)

13 IMPORTANT DIVISIONS OF FUNGI 3. Ascomycota (Sac Fungi) u Molds with septate hyphae and some yeasts. u Asexual Reproduction: Conidiospores not enclosed in a sac. Become airborne easily. Form chains (broom-like structures). u Sexual Reproduction: Ascospores enclosed in a sac-like structure (ascus). u Include common antibiotic producing fungi and yeasts, and several human pathogens. u Penicillium notatum (Produces penicillin) u Saccharomyces (Brewer’s yeast) u Trychophyton (Athlete’s foot) u Aspergillus (Carcinogenic aflatoxin in peanuts), u Blastomyces (Respiratory infections) u Histoplasma capsulatum (Respiratory and systemic infections)

14 Life Cycle of Eupenicillium (Ascomycete) Reproduces Asexually and Sexually

15 Severe nail infection with Trichophyton rubrum in a 37-year-old male AIDS patient. Source: Intern. J. Dermatol. 31(1992): 453.

16 Disseminated Histoplasma capsulatum, skin infection. Source: Microbiology Perspectives, 1999.

17 IMPORTANT DIVISIONS OF FUNGI 4. Basidiomycota (Club Fungi) u Have septate hyphae. u Include mushrooms, toadstools, rusts, and smuts. u Sexual Reproduction: Produce basidiospores: Spores formed externally on a club shaped sexual structure or base called basidium. u Asexual Reproduction: Through hyphae. u Examples: u Cryptococcus: Causes opportunistic respiratory and CNS infections in AIDS patients. u Amanita: Mushroom produces lethal toxins to humans. u Claviceps purpurea: Produces ergot toxin in wheat and rye.

18 Life Cycle of a Basidiomycete Mushrooms are Produced Sexually

19 NUTRITIONAL ADAPTATIONS OF FUNGI Fungi absorb their food, rather than ingesting it. u Fungi grow better at a pH of 5, which is too acidic for most bacteria. u Almost all molds are aerobic. Most yeasts are facultative anaerobes. u Fungi are more resistant to high osmotic pressure than bacteria. u Fungi can grow on substances with very low moisture. u Fungi require less nitrogen than bacteria to grow. u Fungi can break down complex carbohydrates (wood, paper), that most bacteria cannot.

20 FUNGAL DISEASES Mycosis: Any fungal disease. Tend to be chronic because fungi grow slowly. Mycoses are classified into the following categories: I. Systemic mycoses: Fungal infections deep within the body. Can affect a number if tissues and organs. u Usually caused by fungi that live in the soil and are inhaled. Not contagious. u Examples: u Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum): Initial infection in lungs. Later spreads through blood to most organs. u Coccidiomycosis (Coccidioides immites): Resembles tuberculosis.

21 Systemic Mycosis: Histoplasmosis Disseminated Histoplasma capsulatum, lung infection. Source: Microbiology Perspectives, 1999.

22 FUNGAL DISEASES (Continued) II. Cutaneous mycoses: Fungal infections of the skin, hair, and nails. u Secrete keratinase, an enzyme that degrades keratin. u Infection is transmitted by direct contact or contact with infected hair (hair salon) or cells (nail files, shower floors). u Examples: u Ringworm (Tinea capitis and T. corporis) u Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis) u Jock itch (Tinea cruris)

23 Cutaneous Mycosis Ringworm skin infection: Tinea corporis Source: Microbiology Perspectives, 1999

24 Cutaneous Mycosis Candida albicans infection of the nails. Source: Microbiology Perspectives, 1999.

25 FUNGAL DISEASES (Continued) III. Subcutaneous mycoses: Fungal infections beneath the skin. u Caused by saprophytic fungi that live in soil or on vegetation. u Infection occurs by implantation of spores or mycelial fragments into a skin wound. u Can spread to lymph vessels. IV. Superficial mycoses: Infections of hair shafts and superficial epidermal cells. Prevalent in tropical climates.

26 FUNGAL DISEASES (Continued) Opportunistic mycoses: Caused by organisms that are generally harmless unless individual has weakened defenses: u AIDS and cancer patients u Individuals treated with broad spectrum antibiotics u Very old or very young individuals (newborns). u Examples: u Aspergillosis: Inhalation of Aspergillus spores. u Yeast Infections or Candidiasis: Caused mainly by Candida albicans. Part of normal mouth, esophagus, and vaginal flora.

27 ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF FUNGI u 25-50% of harvested fruits and vegetables are damaged by fungi. u Fungal infections of plants are commonly called rots, rusts, blights, wilts, and smuts. u Phytophthora infestans: Caused great potato famine in mid- 1800s. Over 1 million people died from starvation in Ireland. Many immigrated to the U.S. u Beneficial fungi: u Candida oleophila: Prevents fungal growth on harvested fruits. u Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Used to make bread and wine. u Genetically engineered yeast strains are used to make proteins (Hepatitis B vaccine). u Taxomyces: Produces anticancer drug taxol. u Trichoderma: Produces cellulase. Used to make fruit juice.


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