Presentation on theme: "The Fungus Among Us The strange and fascinating world of our most visible decomposers."— Presentation transcript:
The Fungus Among Us The strange and fascinating world of our most visible decomposers
What we WON’T do: Learn to identify edible mushrooms Freak out because there are approximately 10,000 fungal spores in each cubic meter of air Panic because we have Pneumocystis carinii living in our lungs right now (yes, YOUR lungs)
What we WILL do: Learn about unique reproduction strategies Appreciate that fungi are essential for life on this planet Delight in all the ways that fungi make our lives richer
Characteristics of Fungi Eukaryotic heterotrophs – digestion is external Chitin in cell walls – same chemical as found in insect exoskeletons Dikaryotic stage (some) – cells fuse (plasmogamy) but nuclei don’t! – therefore cells are n+n instead of 2n
Terminology -gamy = marriage or fusion -karyon = nucleus -plasm = gel inside cell -ploid = sets of chromosomes (1n, 2n) spore = 1n cell that can germinate into a fully functional 1n cell myco = fungus
Functions saprobes (decomposers) – up to armpits in dead bodies without them – nutrient cycles come to a halt (carbon, nitrogen, etc.) parasites/pathogens – you name it, including other fungi mutualists – you name it – especially important: plants ( ~ 90% of all plants MUST have fungal associations)
Ectomycorrhizae vs. Arbuscular mycorrhizae
Unicellular fungi = yeast Multicellular: functional unit = hypha mushroom = fruiting body
ONLY fungi with motile cells Chytrids
Chytrid infection of frogs has caused extinction of several species across the world. Ease of global travel has exacerbated the problem.
Glomeromycota: ONLY reproduce asexually, NONE are unicellular EXTREMELY important function: arbuscular mycorrhizae from: f4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v1/n4/full/ncomms1046.html&usg=__7YegfK1Kf9F35TIwzcySA- _ewp0=&h=411&w=600&sz=80&hl=en&start=21&sig2=8ks-42yCpXd5mTIoNyp4YA&zoom=1&tbnid=eVz- gQfOr2MucM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=163&ei=pending&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dglomerulomycete%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D558%26gbv%3D2 %26tbs%3Disch:10%2C503&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=829&vpy=179&dur=2964&hovh=186&hovw=271&tx=129&ty=120&oei=2E6WTPvYIc6dnwel0MyeBw&e sq=2&page=2&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:12,s:21&biw=1276&bih=558
aka Cup Fungi
Saccharomyces cerevisiae favorite ‘cup’ fungus = Brewer’s & Baker’s yeast!! Penicilium varieties responsible for Roquefort cheese and antibiotics!