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Unformatted text preview: Bio 124 Diversity Portfolio Group 1 Introduction Everyone recognizes the signs of moldy bread, the white spider-web like substance spreading over the bread with portions of fuzzy blue or green patches. Not only is it a great disappointment after hopes of toast but it is also one of the seven phyla of the kingdom Fungi. What we know as moldy bread is from the phyla Ascomycota which is responsible for 75% of all known fungi. Some common characteristics all Fungus share are their cells features that are membrane-bound and complex structures such as a nucleus, which are enclosed within a membrane. Because of these characteristics, Fungi are within the domain Eukarya, sharing more traits with the kingdom Animalia than Plantae. Because Fungi share more characteristics with animals rather than plants, fungi do not contain chlorophyll and therefore are unable to create their own food via photosynthesis. Due to their need for another method of acquiring food, fungi became a clever organism: capable of hiding, and often being dormant killers, being a facultative fungus, as well as having parasitic relationships; other times a symbiotic relationship with insects or plants. From the many interesting ways fungi manage to get nutrients, many fungi are classified as pathogenic. Pathogenic fungi are fungi that cause disease in humans and other organisms. Due to their uncanny ability to obtain nutrients no matter what the cost is to other organisms, the theme to this portfolio is pathogenic fungi. As previously stated, not all fungus is that of our toast disasters. Many are fatal to those it interacts with. For instance a chytrid fungus plays a major role in a catastrophic attack of 7.8% of the known amphibians. Its name is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, often referred to as Bd . This clever fungus manages to grow in between the amphibians skin cells until it produces enough spores to explode to exit simply to reenter an infected area. From the bursting and release of spores, a layer of the organisms skin sheds revealing a reddening of the skin and lesions. Bd is just one example of a fungal infection with no protection and no cure. Not all pathogenic fungi attack creatures in the animal kingdom. There are those that much rather cause serious disease in wheat crops causing illness in humans and other animals. Fusarium graminearum targets specific crops and livestock, including wheat, barley and some other small grains this in turn produces mycotoxins. These toxins cause a lovely array of symptoms including vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, staggering, skin irritation, immunosuppression, and on very rare cases, death. Many fungi are opportunistic in the worst way, attacking an organism while it is already weak and if possible, makes it even weaker. Mucor circinelloides , a pathogenic species of fungus have an impressive spore size 5x larger than spores of the same species. Scientists are now noticing that the larger spores are not as susceptible to the bodys macrophages. Instead, the noticing that the larger spores are not as susceptible to the bodys macrophages....
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2012 for the course ANTH 101 taught by Professor Storniolo during the Winter '12 term at Drexel.
- Winter '12
- The American