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The Kingdom Fungi. Chapter 21. 21-1 The Kingdom Fungi. What are Fungi?. Fungi are eukaryotic heterotrophs that have cell walls made of chitin (a carbohydrate). Fungi DO NOT ingest their food, but rather they digest food OUTSIDE their bodies and the ABSORB it! (Fungi are decomposers)

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The kingdom fungi

The Kingdom Fungi

Chapter 21

What are fungi
What are Fungi?

  • Fungi are eukaryotic heterotrophs that have cell walls made of chitin (a carbohydrate).

  • Fungi DO NOT ingest their food, but rather they digest food OUTSIDE their bodies and the ABSORB it! (Fungi are decomposers)

    Reasons Fungi Not Plants!

    • No chlorophyll

    • Cell wall not Cellulose

    • NO vascular tissue

    • Do not photosynthesize

      (Not an autotroph)

Structure and function of fungi
Structure and Function of Fungi

  • Structure and Function

    • Multicellular (except yeasts)

    • Composed of hyphae—thin filaments one cell thick

    • Cross walls—cytoplasm and nuclei can move through openings

    • Without cross walls—contain many nuclei


Cell wall


Cross wall



Cell wall

Hyphae Structure Close-Up

Hyphae With Cross Walls

Hyphae Without Cross Walls

Section 21-1

Structure function of fungi
Structure & Function of Fungi

  • Except for yeasts, ALL fungi are multi-cellular and composed of tiny filaments called hyphae.

    • The bodies of multicellular fungi are composed of many hyphae tangled together into a thick mass called a mycelium.

    • The mycelium is well suited to absorb food.

    • The fruiting body is a reproductive structure that develops from a mycelium that grows below the surface of the ground.

Fungi Structure

Fruiting body



Section 21-1

Reproduction in fungi
Reproduction in Fungi

  • Most fungi reproduce both asexually and sexually.

    • Asexual:

      • In some fungi, spores are produced in structures called sporangia.

      • Sporangia are found at the tips of specialized hyphae called sporangiophores.

    • Sexual:

      • Sexual reproduction involves a gametangium - a gamete-forming structure produced when the hyphae of opposing mating types of fungi meet.

How Fungi Spread

  • How Fungi Spread

    • Fungal spores

      • Scatter easily in the wind

      • Must land in favorable


        • Temperature

        • Moisture

        • Food

      • Some are specialized to

        lure animals, flies

        • Disperse spores over

          long distances

21 2 classification of fungi
21-2 Classification of Fungi

  • Fungi are classified according to their structure and method of reproduction

  • The 4 main groups of fungi are:

    • Zygomycota (common molds)

    • Ascomycota (sac fungi)

    • Basidiomycota (club fungi)

    • Deuteromycota (imperfect fungi)

Zygomycota the common molds
Zygomycota – The Common Molds

  • Zygomycetes are the familiar molds that grown on meat, cheese, and bread.

    • Ex: Rhizopus stolonifer (black bread mold).

the rootlike hyphae that anchor the fungus to the bread are called rhizoids

the stem-like hyphae that run along the surface of the bread are called stolons

Zygospore (2N)



Spores (N)


Zygospore (2N)

+ Mating type (N)


Spores (N)

- Mating type (N)



Figure 21-5 The Life Cycle of Rhizopus

Section 21-2

p. 531



Sexual Reproduction

Asexual Reproduction



Ascomycota the sac fungi
Ascomycota – The Sac Fungi

  • The phylum Ascomycota is named for the ascus, a reproductive structure that contains spores.

    • Ascomycetes are the largest phyum in the kingdom Fungi.

    • Some are large and some are microscopic.

    • Examples: cup fungi (large) and yeasts (microscopic).

Fruiting body (N + N)

Hyphae (N + N)

Ascus (N + N)

Zygote (2N)

Hyphae (N)



+ Mating type (N)

- Mating type (N)


Conidia (N)

8 Ascospores (N)

Hypha (N)


Hypha (N)

Figure 21-7 The Life Cycle of an Ascomycete

Section 21-2

p. 533






Sexual Reproduction

Asexual Reproduction

Yeast is an ascomycete fungus
Yeast is an Ascomycete Fungus

  • Yeasts

    • Unicellular fungi

    • Ascomycetes—baking and brewing

    • Budding—process of asexual reproduction—cell division

    • Alcoholic fermentation to obtain energy

      • Byproducts—carbon dioxide and alcohol

Some ascomycetes
Some Ascomycetes

Scarlet Cup Fungus


Sac fungi ascomycota
Sac Fungi - Ascomycota


(visible to the eye)



Basidiomycota the club fungi
Basidiomycota – The Club Fungi

  • The phylum Basidiomycota gets its name from a specialized reproductive structure (called a basidium) that resembles a club.

  • Includes:

    • Mushrooms

    • Shelf fungi

    • Puffballs

    • Earthstars

    • Jelly fungi

    • Plant rusts

    • Bird’s nest fungi

Fruiting body (N + N)

Gills lined with basidia






Basidia (N + N)

Secondary mycelium (N + N)

Primary mycelium (N)

Zygote (2N)

- Mating type (N)

+ Mating type (N)

Basidiospores (N)

Figure 21-8 The Life Cycle of a Basidiomycete

Section 21-2

p. 534






Some basidiomycetes
Some Basidiomycetes

Shelf Fungi

Giant Puffball

The club fungi
The Club Fungi

  • Diversity of Club Fungi

    • Mushrooms

    • Shelf fungi

    • Puffballs

    • Earthstars

    • Jelly fungi

    • Rusts

  • Edible and Inedible Mushrooms

    • Almost identical

    • Some inedible can cause severe illness or death

Diversity of club fungi
Diversity of Club Fungi







Deuteromycota the imperfect fungi
Deuteromycota – The Imperfect Fungi

  • Deuteromycota is an extremely varied phylum composed of those fungi that are not placed in other phyla.

    • The term imperfect implies that these fungi do not appear to have sexual reproduction.

    • Ex: Penicillium notatum – the source of antibiotic penicillin.

Deuteromycota imperfect fungi
Deuteromycota (Imperfect Fungi)

-Regarded as imperfect because they exhibit no sexual stage has been observed in their life cycle

-Members are not closely related and are not necessarily similar in structure or appearance; do not share a common ancestry, polyphyletic = coming from many ancestors – hmm weird 

Truffles are round, warty, fungi that are irregular in shape. They vary from the size of a walnut to that of a man's fist. Since the times of the Greeks and Romans these fungi have been used in Europe as delicacies, as aphrodisiacs, and as medicines. They are among the most expensive of the world's natural foods, often commanding as much as $250 to $450 per pound.

Truffles are harvested in Europe with the aid of female pigs or truffle dogs, which are able to detect the strong smell of mature truffles underneath the surface of the ground. The female pig becomes excited when she sniffs a chemical that is similar to the male swine sex attractant. The use of dogs to find truffles is also and option.

21 3 ecology of fungi
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • All Fungi Are Heterotrophs

    • Saprobes - Organisms that obtain food from decaying organic matter

    • Parasites - which harm other orgnisms

    • Symbionts - live in close and mutually beneficial association with other species

    • Capture live animals

      • Pleurotus ostreatus

      • Lives on the sides of trees and trap worms to digest them

21 3 ecology of fungi1
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Fungi as Decomposers

    • Maintain equilibrium in nearly every ecosystem by recycling nutrients

    • Release digestive enzymes that break down organic material into simple molecules which diffuse into the fungus

21 3 ecology of fungi2
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Fungi as Parasites

    • Cause serious plant and animal diseases and a few cause diseases in humans

    • Plant Diseases

      • Smuts, mildews, rusts

Corn smut

Plant mildew

Spruce rust

21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Parasitic fungi cause serious plant and animal diseases:

    • wheat rust

    • mildew on fruit

Other basidiomycetes rusts and smuts
Other Basidiomycetes Rusts and Smuts

Rust infecting wheat leaves

Rust infecting a Leaf

Whitrot Smut digesting old wood

21 3 ecology of fungi3
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Human Diseases

    • Athlete’s foot, ringworm

    • Candida albicans (yeast)—oral thrush

    • Bacteria and yeast in the human body keep each other in check

21 3 ecology of fungi4
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Other Animal Diseases

    • Cordyceps—grasshoppers in rain forests in Costa Rica

21 3 ecology of fungi5
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Symbiotic Relationships

    • Mutualistic (both benefit)

    • Lichens

      • Fungus and an alga or a cyanobacterium or both

      • Live mostly on bare rock and in places that most other organisms cannot live

      • Break down rock into soil

      • Autotroph makes food, fungus absorbs water and nutrients and serves as an anchor

Lichens symbiotic partnerships
Lichens: Symbiotic Partnerships

Algal Layer

Fungal Hyphae


Lichens are mutualistic symbiotic organisms. They have an ____________ fungus and a _________ or cyanobacterial portion. There are three lichen growth forms which are predominant in nature: _____________________





Symbiotic relationships
Symbiotic Relationships

  • Lichens

    • A symbiotic associations between a fungus and a photosynthetic organism.

    • Lichen can grow on dry, bare rock and are often the first organisms to inhabit an area (pioneer species).

    • The lichen break down the bare rock, allowing other plants to grow.


Symbiotic relationships1
Symbiotic Relationships

  • Mycorrhizae

    • A symbiotic associations of plant roots and fungi.

    • Fungi increases the surface area of the plants roots.

    • Its presence is often necessary for the growth of many plants.


21 3 ecology of fungi6
21-3 Ecology of Fungi

  • Mycorrhizae

    • Plant roots and fungi

    • Plant roots provide energy and fungus provides a large surface area for more absorption of water and minerals