A fungus is among us! FUNGI
What are fungi? • Fungi are eukaryotic consumers, but they are so different from other organisms that they are placed in their own kingdom. • They come in a variety of shapes and colors, but all have a similar way of obtaining and producing food
Food for Fungi • Fungi are consumers • But they cannot eat of engulf food. • Most fungi obtain nutrients by secreting digestive juices onto a food source, then absorbing the dissolved substance. • Many fungi are decomposers. This means they feed on dead animal or plant matter. Bird’s Nest Fungus
What good are they? • Fungi are decomposers. They are also used in the world of food. • Turn to the person next to you and do your best to describe a world without fungi….go! • You wouldn’t have: • Mushrooms on pizza or on other foods • There would be no leavened bread (bread that rises) • No penicillin (antibiotics) • No bleu cheese • Huge amount of dead organic matter would collect and probably not go away.
What are Fungi made up of? • Multicellular fungi are made up of chains of cells called Hyphae. • The hyphae grow together to form a twixted mass called the Mycelium which usually grows underground
Mycelium Mycelium on a piece of rotting wood
Fungi Reproduction • Do you know anyone who has allergies to molds? • What environments do mold-sensitive individuals want to stay away from? • Caves • Damp basements • Damp soil • Leaf litter • Other decaying organic matter.
Asexual or Sexual? • In asexual reproduction , the hyphae break off and each new piece becomes a new individual. Asexual Sexual Reproduction
Spores • Spores: are small reproductive cells protected by a thick cell wall. • Easily spread by the wind • When special structures form to make sex cells, these cells join to produce sexual spores that grow into a new fungus
Threadlike Fungi • Molds are shapeless fuzzy fungi. • Belong to the group called Threadlike fungi. Molds
Sac Fungi • Sac Fungi form the largest group of fungi. Includes yeast, powdery mildews, truffles, and morels. • Sexual Reproduction in these fungi involves the formation of a sac called ascus. • During their lifecycles, sac fungi usually reproduce both sexually and asexually.
Sac Fungi Morels White Truffle
How are Truffles Found? • With Pigs…of course!
Usefulness to Humans • Yeast: used in making bread • Yeast uses sugars as food and produce carbon dioxide gas and alcohol as waste products. • Trapped bubbles of Carbon Dioxide cause the dough to rise and make bread light and fluffy.
Club Fungi • The umbrella shaped fungi, also the most commonly known type of fungi are called club fungi. • White Destroying Angel • One taste is fatal.
Mushrooms: Not the only club fungi! Bracket fungi: look like shelves on trees. Spores are found on the underside of bracket. This corn is infected with a club fungus called smut
Lichens • A Lichen is a combination of fungus and an alga that grow intertwined. • The alga actually grows inside the protective walls of the fungus. • This is called a symbiotic relationship. • It is mutually beneficial to both species. Jewel Lichen
Lichens Fruticose Lichen British Soldier Lichen