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Fungi. Chapter 31. Plantae Fungi Animalia Protista. Monera. Kingdom Fungi. About 100,000 species. Uses: medicine food Ecological value: major decomposers symbiotic relationships (N 2 fixers) Problems: some strains are deadly athletes foot destroy library books

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Chapter 31

  • Plantae Fungi Animalia

  • Protista


Kingdom Fungi

About 100,000 species

  • Uses:

    • medicine

    • food

  • Ecological value:

    • major decomposers

    • symbiotic relationships (N2 fixers)

  • Problems:

    • some strains are deadly

    • athletes foot

    • destroy library books

    • destroy crops

Some fungi are pathogens

  • About 30% of the 100,000 known species of fungi are parasites, mostly on or in plants.

    • American elms:

      Dutch Elm Disease

  • American chestnut:

  • chestnut blight

Was once one of America's most dominant trees

Some fungi are pathogens

  • Other fungi, such as rusts and ergots, infect grain crops, causing tremendous economic losses each year.

Some fungi are pathogens

  • Curse of the Mummy

Some fungi are persistant

Athletes Foot

Fungi as Decomposers

Kingdom Fungi

Eukaryotic, absorptive

Mostly multicellular (except few, e.g. yeast)

Heterotrophic (decomposers & parasitic)

Mycelium (body of hyphae)

Kingdom Fungi

  • Firm cell walls (generally of “chitin”)

  • “Spores” as reproductive bodies

  • Unique chromosomes and nuclei

  • Includes molds, yeasts, rusts, and mushrooms

  • hyphae - the vegetative bodies of most fungi, constructed of tiny filaments

  • mycelium -an interwoven mat of hyphae

Human hair

Fungal hypha

  • Septate hypha:

  • multicellular

  • walls divided by septa

  • Ceonocytic hypha:

  • continuous cytoplasm mass

  • multinucleate

  • no septa


  • Modified hyphae found in parasitic fungi

  • Function: absorb nutrients from host

  • Some fungi even have hyphae adapted for preying on animals.

Kingdom Fungi

Division Chytridiomycota

Division Ascomycota

Division Glomeromycota

Division Basidiomycota

Division Zygomycota

Division Deuteromycota


25 µm

Chytrids (1,000 species)

Fungus-like protist

Fig. 31-11

Zygomycetes (1,000 species)

Fungal hypha

Glomeromycetes (160 species)

Ascomycetes (65,000 species)

Basidiomycetes (30,000 species)



  • The five fungal phyla can be distinguished by their reproductive features.

Division Chytridiomycota

  • mainly aquatic.

  • Some are saprobes, while others parasitize protists, plants, and animals.

  • chitinous cell wall

  • flagellated zoospores

  • the most primitive fungi

Division Zygomycota

“Zygote fungi”(bread molds)

Zygote = “mated” hyphal strands

Live in soil, water

Some are parasites

600 species

Mated hyphal strands

  • The zygosporangia are resistant to freezing and drying.

  • When conditions improve, the zygosporangia release haploid spores that colonize new substrates.

    • Pilobolus aiming its spores.

  • The zygomycete Rhizopus can reproduce either asexually or sexually.


  • Previously With Zygomycota

  • Small Monophyletic Clade

  • Endomycorrhizae – Arbuscular Mycorrhizae

  • Produce branching Arbuscules

Fig. 31-15

2.5 µm

Plant-Fungal Relationships

Mycorrhizae (“fungus roots”)

90% of tree species have this association

Very important to absorption of water and nutrients

Soil surface

Plant roots


Increases s.a. for absorption

Division Ascomycota

“Sac fungi”(truffles, yeast)

Beer > 6,000 years

Wine > 8,000 years


Decomposers, pathogens

“yeast” describes a form of fungi (i.e., non-hyphal)

60,000 species

Division Ascomycota

Scarlet cup



Division Ascomycota

Close up of cheese showing blue-green mycelium of Penicillium roqueforti.

Roquefort cheese







Lichen Anatomy

  • Ascomycetes are characterized by an extensive heterokaryotic stage during the formation of ascocarps.

Division Basidiomycota

“Club fungi”(mushrooms)

Club-shaped reproductive structure


Plant diseases

25,000 species

Fairy Ring

  • The life cycle of a club fungus usually includes a long-lived dikaryotic mycelium.


No Longer Exist!!

  • 22,000 species.

  • No known sexual stage.

  • Saprophytic, parasitic and predatory.

  • Many produce conidia.

  • Most classified as Ascomycota.

  • Fusarium wilt of tomato, potato and cotton.

  • Athletes foot, ring worm

Division Deuteromycota

  • “Imperfect fungi”(penicillin)

  • Unrelated group

    • Asexual

    • No info on sexual cycle

25,000 species



now Ascomycota

Candida albicans

“yeast infection”

Botrytis: “Noble Rot”

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