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Kingdom Fungi

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Middle School Math and Science

Characteristics of Fungi

The kingdom fungi are made up of mushrooms,molds,yeast, and lichens.

Fungi are very important to life on earth and many works with plants in a symbiotic relationship.

The following are some basic fungi traits.

1) Fungi have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles so they are considered eukaryotic.

2)Most Fungi are heterotrophs and get their energy from other organisms.

3) Most are multicellular, but yeast is unicellular.

4) Fungi cannot move about.

Fungi may look like plants but they are not plants and are different than plants in several ways.
  • Almost all Fungi do not have chlorophyll so they cannot practice photosynthesis.
  • They reproduce by spores, not seeds
  • Many fungi have cell walls made of chitin instead of cellulose like plants. 
  • Molds have cell walls of cellulose.

Many Fungi break down decaying matter and absorb nutrients using a network of fibers called hyphae.
  • Hyphae are tubelike structures that grow and cover a food source which allows them to digest and absorb nutrients.
  • Many fungi like mushrooms have a visible fruit which is easily seen, and a mass of hyphae called a mycelium that most likely hidden from view.

There are four main types of Fungi

Zygomycota Many of these fungi are molds. They produce spores on the tips of their hyphae.A common example is bread mold.

Basidiomycota (club fungi) have a dome-shaped part where reproductive spores are produced. 
Common examples are mushrooms.

Ascomycota (sac fungi)  These fungi produce reproductive spores in a sac-like structure.
Common examples include yeast, mildew, and lichens

Deuteromycota (Imperfect fungi) – This group is like your junk drawer of fungi. The fungi that don’t really fit anywhere else go here. However, each of these fungi reproduces asexually.
Athlete's foot is an example.

Fungi can reproduce sexually and asexually.