Fungi

If we go to restaurant and check menu we will find dishes of mushroom under veg list.

Is mushroom a vegetable? Is it a plant? Let us find out.

Mushroom is a kind of fungi and fungi are not plants. Fungi are organisms belonging to a separate kingdom in the living world.

Fungi are eukaryotic organisms. These can be single celled like yeasts or multicellular like moulds and mushrooms.

A fungal cell and a plant cell both have cell walls but composition of cell wall is different.

Cell wall of plants is made up of cellulose and that of fungi is made up of complex sugar called chitin.

Plants have green pigment called chlorophyll but fungi lack chlorophyll. So, fungi cannot perform photosynthesis.

Fungi show heterotrophic mode of nutrition. It can show following modes of nutrition - Saprotrophic Parasitic

Let us learn about nutrition in fungi in detail.

Some fungi like mushrooms and moulds feed on dead and decaying organic matter. They are called saprotrophs and the mode of nutrition is called saprotrophic.

Saprotrophic fungi help in cleaning the environment, hence they are called nature's scavengers.

Some fungi feed on the living protoplasm of the host organisms. They are called parasitic fungi.

Examples of parasitic fungi are (human host) and (plant host).

Some fungi have mutual relationship with other organisms - Symbiotic relationship.

In a symbiotic relationship, both the organisms get benefitted mutually.

Lichen is the example of symbiotic relationship. Lichens are mostly seen as grayish-green to yellow-brown patches growing on bark of trees.

Lichen is two organisms working as single unit. It comprises a fungus living in a permanent symbiotic relationship with an alga or a cyanobacterium.

Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae perform photosynthesis and provide fungi with carbohydrates.

Hyphae of the fungi provide protection to algae from the environment and also provide moisture and nutrients from the environment.

Let us find about reproduction in fungi.

Fungi reproduces asexually by budding (yeast), fragmentation (moulds) or by producing spores (bread mould).

Revision

Fungi are eukaryotic, single-celled or multicellular heterotrophic organisms.

Fungi lack chlorophyll. Their cell wall is made up of chitin.

Fungi show following modes of nutrition - Saprotrophic (Mould) Parasitic ( )

Some fungi like lichen have mutual relationship with other organisms; it is called symbiotic relationship.

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