Types Of Fungi

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TYPES OF FUNGI

Types of Fungi

Types of Fungi

Fungi

The Kingdom Fungi includes some of the most important organisms, both in terms of their ecological and economic roles. By breaking down dead organic material, they continue the cycle of nutrients through ecosystems. In addition, most vascular plants could not grow without the symbiotic fungi, or mycorrhizae, that inhabit their roots and supply essential nutrients. Other fungi provide numerous drugs (such as penicillin and other antibiotics), foods like mushrooms, truffles and morels, and the bubbles in bread, champagne, and beer (Deacon, 2005).

Fungi also cause a number of plant and animal diseases: in humans, ringworm, athlete's foot, and several more serious diseases are caused by fungi. Because fungi are more chemically and genetically similar to animals than other organisms, this makes fungal diseases very difficult to treat. Plant diseases caused by fungi include rusts, smuts, and leaf, root, and stem rots, and may cause severe damage to crops. However, a number of fungi, in particular the yeasts, are important "model organisms" for studying problems in genetics and molecular biology (Alexopoulos, Mims & Blackwell, 1996).

Where does it grow

Growth of fungi as filamentous hyphae on or in solid substrates or single cells in aquatic environments is adapted to efficient extraction of nutrients from these environments, because these growth forms have high surface area to volume ratios. Fungal hyphae are specifically adapted to growth on solid surfaces and within substrates, and can exert large penetrative mechanical forces. The plant pathogen, Magnaporthe grisea, forms a structure called an appressorium specifically designed for penetration of plant tissues. The pressure generated by the appressorium, which is directed against the plant epidermis, can exceed 8 MPa (80 bars). A similar method is employed by the filamentous fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus to penetrate the eggs of plant-parasitic nematodes. The generation of these mechanical pressures is the result of an interplay between physiological processes to increase intracellular turgor by production of osmolytes such as glycerol, and the morphology of the appressorium. These adaptations in morphology are complemented by hydrolytic enzymes secreted into the environment for digestion of large organic molecules, such as polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, and other organic substrates into smaller molecules. These molecules are then absorbed as nutrients into the fungal cells (Deacon, 2005).

Traditionally, the fungi are considered heterotrophs, organisms that rely solely on carbon fixed by other organisms for metabolism. Fungi have evolved a remarkable metabolic versatility that allows them to use a diverse range of organic substrates for growth, including simple compounds as nitrate, ammonia, acetate, or ethanol. Recent research raises the possibility that certain fungi utilize the pigment melanin to extract energy from ionizing radiation, such as gamma radiation for "radiotrophic" growth. This process might bear similarity to photosynthesis in plants, but detailed biochemical data supporting the existence of this hypothetical pathway are presently lacking (Bisby, Ainsworth & Aptroot, 2001).

Fungi can be found in many different environments. Fungi will grow on almost anything. Fungi can be found outside in forests, gardens and even in your own ...
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