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Diversity of Fungi More than 100,000 species of fungi are known and mycologists estimate that there are actually about 1.5 million species worldwide. Molecular analyses supports the division of the fungi into four phyla. Fig. 31.4 Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Most of the 600 zygomycete, or zygote fungi, are terrestrial, living in soil or on decaying plant and animal material. One zygomycete group form mycorrhizae, mutualistic associations with the roots of plants. Zygomycete hyphae are coenocytic, with septa found only in reproductive structures. Phylum Zygomycota: Zygote fungi form resistant structures during sexual reproduction Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
The life cycle and biology of Rhizopus stolonifer, black bread mold, is typical of zygomycetes. –Horizontal hyphae spread out over food, penetrate it, and digest nutrients. –In the asexual phase, hundreds of haploid spores develop in sporangia at the tips of upright hyphae. –If environmental conditions deteriorate, this species of Rhizopus reproduces sexually. –Plasmogamy of opposite mating types produces a zygosporangium. –Inside this multinucleate structure, the heterokaryotic nuclei fuse to form diploid nuclei that undergo meiosis. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
The zygomycete Rhizopus can reproduce either asexually or sexually. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.7
The zygosporangia are resistant to freezing and drying. When conditions improve, the zygosporangia release haploid spores that colonize new substrates. –Some zygomycetes, such as Pilobolus, can actually aim their spores. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.8
Mycologists have described over 60,000 species of ascomycetes, or sac fungi. They range in size and complexity from unicellular yeasts to elaborate cup fungi and morels. 3. Phylum Ascomycota: Sac fungi produce sexual spores in saclike asci Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.9
The defining feature of the Ascomycota is the production of sexual spores in saclike asci. –In many species, the spore-forming asci are collected into macroscopic fruiting bodies, the ascocarp. Examples of ascocarps include the edible parts of truffles and morels. Ascomycetes reproduce asexually by producing enormous numbers of asexual spores, which are usually dispersed by the wind. –These naked spores, or conidia, develop in long chains or clusters at the tips of specialized hyphae called conidiophores. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Ascomycetes are characterized by an extensive heterokaryotic stage during the formation of ascocarps. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.10
(1 ) The sexual phase of the ascomycete lifestyle begins when haploid mycelia of opposite mating types become intertwined and form an antheridium and ascogonium. (2) Plasmogamy occurs via a cytoplasmic bridge and haploid nuclei migrate from the antheridium to the ascogonium, creating a heterokaryon. (3) The ascogonium produces dikaryotic hyphae that develop into an ascocarp. (4) The tips of the ascocarp hyphae are partitioned into asci. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
(5) Karyogamy occurs within these asci and the diploid nuclei divide by meiosis, (6) yielding four haploid nuclei. (7) Each haploid nuclei divides once by mitosis to produce eight nuclei, often in a row, and cell walls develop around each nucleus to form ascospores. (8) When mature, all the ascospores in an ascus are dispersed at once, often leading to a chain reaction of release, from other asci. (9) Germinating ascospores give rise to new haploid mycelia. (10) Asexual reproduction occurs via conidia. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Approximately 25,000 fungi, including mushrooms, shelf fungi, puffballs, and rusts, are classified in the phylum Basidiomycota. Phylum Basidiomycota: Club fungi have long-lived dikaryotic mycelia Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.11
The name of the phylum is derived from the basidium, a transient diploid stage. –The clublike shape of the basidium is responsible for the common name club fungus. Basidiomycetes are important decomposers of wood and other plant materials. –Of all fungi, these are the best at decomposing the complex polymer lignin, abundant in wood. Two groups of basidiomycetes, the rusts and smuts, include particularly destructive plant parasites. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
The life cycle of a club fungus usually includes a long-lived dikaryotic mycelium. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.12
( 1) Two haploid mycelia of opposite mating type undergo plasmogamy, (2) creating a dikaryotic mycelium that ultimately crowds out the haploid parents. (3) Environmental cues, such as rain or temperature change, induce the dikaryotic mycelium to form compact masses that develop into basidiocarps. –Cytoplasmic streaming from the mycelium swells the hyphae, rapidly expanding them into an elaborate fruiting body, the basidiocarp (mushrooms in many species). –The dikaryotic mycelia are long-lived, generally producing a new crop of basidiocarp each year. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
(4) The surface of the basidiocarp’s gills are lined with terminal dikaryotic cells called basidia. (5) Karyogamy produces diploid nuclei which then undergo meiosis, (6) each yielding four haploid nuclei. –Each basidium grows four appendages, and one haploid nucleus enters each and develops into a basidiospore. (7) When mature, the basidiospores are propelled slightly by electrostatic forces into the spaces between the gills and then dispersed by the wind. (8) The basidiospores germinate in a suitable habitat and grow into a short-lived haploid mycelia. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Asexual reproduction in basidiomycetes is much less common than in ascomycetes. A billion sexually-produced basidiospores may be produced by a single, store-bought mushroom. –The cap of the mushrooms support a huge surface area of basidia on gills. –These spores drop beneath the cap and are blown away. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
By concentration growth in the hyphae of mushrooms, a basidiomycete mycelium can erect basidiocarps in just a few hours. –A ring of mushrooms may appear overnight. –At the center of the ring are areas where the mycelium has already consumed all the available nutrients. –As the mycelium radiates out, it decomposes the organic matter in the soil and mushrooms form just behind this advancing edge. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 31.13
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