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Fungi

Kingdom Fungi

The Fungi, are well-known as mushrooms, toadstool, molds, and morels. Along with bacteria, fungi are the fundamental decomposers in nature, and the cause of many plant diseases, pneumonia, and ringworm. Humans use fungi for production of alcohol, cheese, penicillin, cyclosporin, as well as culinary delicacies. They are of great importance to plants because they form important symbiotic relationships with plant roots, called mycorrhizae.

They are organisms that may appear plant-like, but are more closely related to animals. They belong to a group called the opisthokonts, sharing similarities in how their sex cells are constructed. The body of a fungus has a mass of thread-like strands, called hyphae or mycelium. Some have an algae construction (thalloid). All fungi have chitin in their cells walls (similar to animals)

Features
  • Filamentous in construction, called hyphae
    • A mass of hyphae is called mycelium
  • Chitin found in cell walls
  • Haplontic life cycle in most (except chytrids)
    • Feeding phase is haploid
    • During reproduction, strands of different organisms combine to form a larger reproductive structure, such as a mushroom
    • The cells from each organism fuse together, but the nuclei do not fuse
      • This condition is called dikaryotic, in which each cell has two nuclei
    • When the structure is mature, these nuclei fuse together to create the only diploid cell in the lifecycle
    • This diploid cell then goes through meiosis to produce haploid spores
Geologic Age: Ediacaran - present


Classification
Unikonta - single flagellum organisms
Opisthokonta - fungi, animals, and others
Phylum Chytridiomycota - Chytrids
Phylum Zygomycota - Sugar Molds
Phylum Basidiomycota - Club Fungi
Phylum Ascomycota - Sac Fungi
Incertae Sedis - Unclassified

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