Fungal Characteristics 1) Fungi can be food sources or ingredients and go grow almost anywhere! 2) Scientists are not sure how fungi are RELATED to other organisms, but all fungi except yeast have many cells 3) Cell wall made of chitin 4) Heterotrophs – decomposers (MOST are saprophytes) or parasites 5) Body is made of long filaments of hyphae which form a mycelium and produce enzymes for digestion 6) Reproduce sexually and asexually *Asexually by spores *Sexually by mating of hyphae filaments from two genetically different fungi
Kingdom Fungi 1.Phylum Zygomycota = the Bread Molds/zygospore fungi Rhizopus – black bread mold – produce spores in round cases called sporangia 2.Phylum Oomycota = the Water Molds Water mold, potato blight, mildew 3.Phylum Ascomycota = the Sac/Cup Fungi Yeast, morels, truffles – produce spores in small, saclike structures called an ascus; yeasts reproduce by budding 4. Phylum Basidiomycota = the Club Fungi Mushrooms, puffballs, bracket fungi, rusts, smuts, toadstools – produce spores in club-shaped structure called a basidium 5. Phylum Deuteromycota = the Imperfect Fungi, e.g penicillin ~ never been observed reproducing
-are primarily decomposers -asexual spores may be produced in sporangia -sexual reproduction may occur between different strains -only the zygote is diploid; all hyphae and asexual spores are haploid Zygomycota (Rhizopus) the Common Molds
Zygomycota – common molds The fungal mass of hyphae, known as the MYCELIUM penetrates the bread and produces the fruiting bodies on top of the stalks Mycelia = a mass of hyphae or filaments
Water Molds -- Oomycota The water molds are better known as the MILDEWS. Fish tank fuzz is an example. Protist-like mold because share common characteristics with plant-like protists, such as the cell wall
Things to Know about Oomycete Fungi 1.Water molds or mildews 2.Cause diseases such as potato blight 3.Cell walls made of cellulose (like plant) 4.Hyphae have multiple nuclei! Because the cell walls do not fully close off. 5.Spore swims away like a flagellate, which is why it is protist like (think of Euglena)
Irish Potato Famine of 19 th Century Devastated potato crops, causing devastating starvation in Ireland Estimates of deaths in the famine years range from 290,000 to 1,500,000 with the true figure probably lying somewhere around 1,000,000, or 12% of the population.
Truffles are round, warty, fungi that are irregular in shape. They vary from the size of a walnut to that of a man's fist. Since the times of the Greeks and Romans these fungi have been used in Europe as delicacies, as aphrodisiacs, and as medicines. They are among the most expensive of the world's natural foods, often commanding as much as $250 to $450 per pound. Truffles are harvested in Europe with the aid of female pigs or truffle dogs, which are able to detect the strong smell of mature truffles underneath the surface of the ground. The female pig becomes excited when she sniffs a chemical that is similar to the male swine sex attractant. The use of dogs to find truffles is also and option.
-Regarded as imperfect because they exhibit no sexual stage has been observed in their life cycle -Members are not closely related and are not necessarily similar in structure or appearance; do not share a common ancestry, Deuteromycota (Imperfect Fungi)
Deuteromycota – the Fungi Imperfecti Resemble Ascomycetes, but their reproductive cycle has never been observed Different from Ascomycetes because there is a definite lack of sexual reproduction, which is why they are called Imperfect Fungi Penicillium fungi Up Close
Lichens are mutualistic symbiotic organisms. They are composed of a fungus and either a green alga or a cyanobacterium *Important food source *Help rocks weather, or break down *Indicator species ~ monitor pollution Lichens
Mycorrhizae Mycorrhizae means “fungus-root”; mutualistic relationship between plant and fungi - may have allowed plants to move from water to land about 500 million years ago! The plant photosynthesizes while the fungus more efficiently takes up nutrients and water from the rhizosphere than the roots would alone. Plant benefits include: Improved nutrient/water uptake Improved root growth Improved plant growth and yield Improved disease resistance Reduced transplant shock Reduced drought stress
Importance of Fungi Cultivated mushrooms are an important food crop; yeast is used in baking industry Fungi can cause disease in plants and animals, e.g., Dutch elm disease, apple scab Fungi can cause disease in humans, e.g., ringworm and athlete’s foot Produce antibiotics, e.g., penicillin Decomposers ~ recycle organic matter