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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

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  • Plantae Fungi Animalia

  • Protista


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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

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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

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Some fungi are pathogens

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

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Some fungi are pathogens

  • Curse of the Mummy

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Some fungi are persistant

Athletes Foot

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Kingdom Fungi

Eukaryotic, absorptive

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

Heterotrophic (decomposers & parasitic)

Mycelium (body of hyphae)

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Kingdom Fungi

  • Firm cell walls (generally of “chitin”)

  • “Spores” as reproductive bodies

  • Unique chromosomes and nuclei

  • Includes molds, yeasts, rusts, and mushrooms

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

  • mycelium -an interwoven mat of hyphae

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Human hair

Fungal hypha

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  • Septate hypha:

  • multicellular

  • walls divided by septa

  • Ceonocytic hypha:

  • continuous cytoplasm mass

  • multinucleate

  • no septa

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  • Modified hyphae found in parasitic fungi

  • Function: absorb nutrients from host

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

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Kingdom Fungi

Division Chytridiomycota

Division Ascomycota

Division Basidiomycota

Division Zygomycota

Division Deuteromycota

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Fungus-like protist

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

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Division Chytridiomycota

  • mainly aquatic.

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

  • chitinous cell wall

  • flagellated zoospores

  • the most primitive fungi

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Division Zygomycota

“Zygote fungi”(bread molds)

Zygote = “mated” hyphal strands

Live in soil, water

Some are parasites

600 species

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Mated hyphal strands

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  • The zygosporangia are resistant to freezing and drying.

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

    • Pilobolus aiming its spores.

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  • The zygomycete Rhizopus can reproduce either asexually or sexually.

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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

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Division Ascomycota

Scarlet cup



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Division Ascomycota

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

Roquefort cheese

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Lichen Anatomy

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

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Division Basidiomycota

“Club fungi”(mushrooms)

Club-shaped reproductive structure


Plant diseases

25,000 species

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Fairy Ring

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

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Division Deuteromycota

  • “Imperfect fungi”(penicillin)

  • Unrelated group

    • Asexual

    • No info on sexual cycle

25,000 species

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now Ascomycota

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Candida albicans

“yeast infection”

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Botrytis: “Noble Rot”

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Plant-Fungal Relationships

Mycorrhizae (“fungus roots”)

90% of tree species have this association

Very important to absorption of water and nutrients

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Soil surface

Plant roots


Increases s.a. for absorption

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