BIO 12 Fungi I - 2009 BIO153 Lecture 12 Fungi(I Fungi...

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1 2009 BIO153: Lecture 12 Fungi (I) February 25, 2009 Fungi constitute one of the 3 major lineages of multicellular terrestrial eukaryotes (the others being plants and animals). Fungi are heterotrophs (are not photosynthetic) “osmotrophs”: they digest their food using hydrolytic exoenzymes , then ingest through absorption these enzymes can break down lignin, cellulose (also petroleum, waxes, photographic film…) ecologically: fungi act as saprobes, parasites, predators, mutualistic symbionts… play very important roles in ecological communities and the cycling of nutrients Many fungi are saprobes: break down dead organic material important in cycling carbon, nitrogen, etc. the extensive coal & peat deposits that formed in the Carboniferous period were able to accumulate due to lack of fungal activity (not yet very diverse in the terrestrial environment Fungal morphology:
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2 cell walls contain chitin (N–rich polysaccharide), although some Chytridiomycota also have cellulose can exist as single cells ( yeasts ); however, most are multicellular the fungal “body” is very simple; exists as a mass of hyphae (collectively called the mycelium ) 2 types of hyphae (filaments): 1. septate (cross-walls separate compartments with a nucleus) 2. coenocytic (cytoplasm with many nuclei – this is typical of the Zygomycota ) The body of a fungus may be simple, but due to its simplicity, it can also be huge! an individual honey fungus
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BIO 12 Fungi I - 2009 BIO153 Lecture 12 Fungi(I Fungi...

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