Fungi.docx - Fungi WhatareFungi Eukaryotic Heterotrophic...

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Fungi What are Fungi? Eukaryotic  Heterotrophic  Mostly multicellular, except yeast Thin filamentous hyphae which forms a mycelium Gain nutrients by extracellular digestion and absorption Contain chitin in cell walls (like insects) Importance of Fungi Nutrient cycling o Only organisms that can digest lignin
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o Digest plant and animal detritus (waste) and return nutrients to soil and  atmosphere Fungal partners o Fungi help feed plants o 90% plants have fungal partners (mycorrhizae) to help nutrient take up Pathogenic fungi o Attack humans o Destroy crops o Kills trees/forests o Spoils food o Killing amphibians Food production o Brewing  o Wine production o Moulds in cheese productions o Baking  o Mushrooms, truffles o Quorn (mycoprotein) Medicine and biotechnology o Antibiotics o Numerous other therapeutic pharmochemicals o Degrade toxic wastes o Citric acid production (Aspergillus) o Yeast- model organisms for eukaryotic genetics Fungal form Mycelium- largest part of fungus made up of hyphae o Often hidden underground or in log of tree and mushroom or toadstool is the  reproductive structure or ‘fruiting body’ o Diverse shapes and forms Fungal Nutrition Strictly heterotrophs- detritivores, saprotrophs (eat decaying organic matter), parasites  (decomposers and pathogens) and symbionts Look at ppt Fungal associations Lichen- fungi and algae Importance in succession- lichens are colonizers of bare rocks, dominate Artic  and Antarctic tundra, breakdown rock to soil. Mycorrhizal Fungi Symbiotic with 90% of plants Helps plant with inorganic nutrient uptake (phosphorus, minerals) Fungus receives organic C (sugars) from plant (produced by photosynthesis in plant  leaves) Mycorrhizae- increased surface area for nutrient exchange
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How the symbiosis works Fungus digests organic material in the soil and gets sugars from the plant Fungus- effective at taking up nutrients (especially P) – feed nutrients to the plant Mycorrhizae can connect different plants 4 major groups of fungi Basidiomycota (club fungi) o Mushroom Zygomycota (molds) o Bread mold Ascomycota (cup fungi)  o Morel, truffle, yeast Chytridiomycota (aquatic, motile cells) Based on reproduction Some important fungi do not fit in these groups because they reproduce asexually A little bit about Fungal Reproduction Major groups of fungi differ in their life cycles  Asexual reproduction is common (budding in yeast) Some review of definitions Mitosis and meiosis review Meiosis- chromosome number halves- gametes Mitosis- normal cell division- produces same genetic material
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