Phylum2 - formation of asci. Claviceps purpurea, cause of...

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Phylum Zygomycota Sac fungi are also important in decomposing and recycling organic matter. Some ascomycetes are parasites responsible for Dutch Elm disease and Chestnut blight. Other sac fungi are used in commercial baking and brewing, wine making, and in the production of antibiotics, including some species of Penicillium , the fungus that produced penicillin, the first of the wonder drugs. The term yeast is widely applied to ususally single-celled ascomycetes such as Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (sold as brewer's yeast or baker's yeast). The latter fungus is useful to humans as a leavening agent in bread as well as brewing of beer and similar alcoholic beverages. These fungi typically are unicellular and reproduce by asexual budding as well as the sexual process involving the
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Unformatted text preview: formation of asci. Claviceps purpurea, cause of the crop disease known as wild ergot (or Jack-in-the-Rye), is a natural source of the hallucenogen LSD. Some sholars speculate that an outbreak of wild ergot may have been responsible for the hallucinations associated with the Great Awakening in 17th century America. The parasite causes the production of a long, dark purple spur (hence the species name "purpurea") which contains the dormant fungus. During this doimrant phase the fungus produces several defense chemicals known as alkaloids, as well as lysegric acid and related compounds. These latter compounds can cause the reported psychotrophic effects....
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