A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds (British English: moulds), as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria. One major difference is that fungal cells have cell walls that contain chitin, unlike the cell walls of plants, which contain cellulose.
Characteristics of fungi
* non- vascular organisms
* reproduce by means of spores, usually wind-disseminated both sexual (meiotic) and asexual (mitotic) spores may be produced, depending on the species and conditions
* typically not motile, although a few (e.g. Chytrids) have a motile phase. Moving or having the power to move spontaneously
* like plants, fungi have an alternation of generations
* fungi are heterotrophic ( “other feeding,” must feed on preformed organic material), not autotrophic ( “self feeding,” make their own food by photosynthesis). Unlike animals (also heterotrophic), which ingest then digest, fungi digest then ingest. Ingestion is the taking in of food or other substances. Digestion refers to the breakdown of food into smaller particles, capable of later absorbtion.
* Fungi produce exoenzymes to accomplish this. an enzyme that acts outside the cell which secretes it.
* most fungi store their food as glycogen (like animals)--plants store food as starch
* vegetative body may be unicellular (yeasts) or composed of microscopic threads called hyphae
* cell walls similar in structure to plants’ but differ in chemical composition--fungi cell walls are composed of mostly of chitin--plant cell walls are composed mostly of cellulose (plus lignin in secondary walls)
* cytoplasmic ultrastructure broadly similar to plants cells, but differ significantly in kinds of organelles and their structures.
Structure of fungi
The main body of most fungi is made up of fine,...