Secme Essay

1089 WordsFeb 5, 20135 Pages
What Is Fungus? What Are Fungi? Main Category: Biology / Biochemistry | | | * Fungi (Singular: fungus) are classified within their own kingdom - The Kingdom Fungi, while some are in The Kingdom Protista. A fungus is neither a plant nor an animal. It is similar to a plant, but it has no chlorophyll and cannot make its own food like a plant can through photosynthesis. They get their food by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings. Kingdom Fungi includes mushrooms, rusts, smuts, puffballs, truffles, morels, molds, and yeasts, and thousands of other organisms and microorganisms. They range from microscopic single-celled organisms, such as yeast, to gigantic multicellular organisms. Many fungi play a crucial role in decomposition (breaking things down) and returning nutrients to the soil. They are also used in medicine, an example is the antibiotic penicillin, as well as in industry and food preparation For a long time fungi were classified as plants, mainly because of their similar lifestyles - both are seen to grow in soil and are sessile (permanently attached; not moving). Plant and fungal cells both have a cell wall, while cells from the animal kingdom don't. Fungi are thought to have diverged from the plant and animal kingdoms about one billion years ago. * Fungi exist in various habitats, including deep down in the ocean, lakes, rocks, deserts, very salty environments, and areas of extremely high or low temperatures. Some can prevail even after being exposed to intense UV and cosmic radiation as one would encounter during space travel. During the 13 years the Mir space station was in orbit, a great deal of equipment was continuously being damaged by mutated fungi that had been breeding in the space station. At first technicians were puzzled and thought the problems must have been due to faulty workmanship. The majority of fungi

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