Nutritional Requirement


Growth and Nutrition

Fungi, as all organisms, require sources of C, H, O, N, P, S, K, Mg, and trace elements of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Mo. Nutrients taken up through cell membrane by absorption from the environment.

Carbon Nutrition

Fungi are heterotrophs – must have an organic carbon source that is also generally used as a source of energy. As a group, fungi can use a wide variety of organic compounds as a sources of C and energy including CHO, organic acids, lipids, CHON, hydrocarbons, aromatics, etc.

Nitrogen Nutrition
Fungi require N for synthesis of CHON, nucleic acids, coenzymes and chitin. Many fungi can use nitrate as N source and must have necessary enzymes – nitrate and nitrite reductases – to reduce nitrate to ammonium.

Other Nutrients

Sulfur – required for amino acids, vitamins. Most fungi can use sulfate, contain the necessary sulfate reductases to reduce sulfate to hydrogen sulfide that can be added to an organic compound to make amino acid.

Phosphorous – phosphate satisfies the P requirement of all fungi, is not oxidized or reduced, required for nucleic acids, phospholipids, coenzymes. Fungi have relatively large requirements for K and Mg as cofactors for enzymes, other trace elements required in smaller quantities. Vitamins (organic growth factors) may be required – most common requirement is thiamine.

Oxygen Nutrition
Most fungi are obligate aerobes – require oxygen for growth. A few species are not capable of using oxygen in their metabolism – anaerobes.

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