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CHAPTER 5 FUNGI Learning goals: At the end of lesson, students should be able to: i. ii. iii.

Describe the basic structrure of fungi Differentiate four domain of fungi; Ascomycota, Zygomycota, Basidiomycota and Oomycota Explain the importance of fungi

5.1 INTRODUCTION Assalamualaikum and a very good day to everyone!. In the previous lesson we have study the Kingdom of Monerans, hopefully you all still remember the lesson. On today lesson, we are going to enter a new kingdom that is Fungi. Fungi differ from another kingdom majorly through their nutritional mode that act as decomposers. Without fungi we will have a mass of carcass and dead tree that are unable to decay due to the absence of their decomposers which is Fungi. This situation will create a hazardous condition towards human as disease will easily spread out from the un-decaying carcass. Fungi are eukaryotic saprobes and parasites that obtain nutrient through absorption from their surroundings. They arose from a unicellular protest ancestor, one different from ancestor of animals. Certain protists, including slime molds and water molds have been considered fungi (molds) although they are usually classified as protists and are not thought to resemble ancestor of fungi. They reproduced by both sexual and asexual (only for Deuteromycota division) method. A common misconception and mistake that people always treat fungi as a plants because they considered mushrooms as in the vegetables group. Fungi are not at all like plants. The fungal body is basically long strings of cells, often interconnected. Significant differences between fungi and plants include the following: Table 4.1: Fungi vs Plant FUNGI PLANT All fungi are heterotrophs (unable to synthesize Plant are autotrophs (have the abilty to produce their own food). their own food through photosynthesis). Fungi have filamentous body (their body consist Plant is built of groups of functionally different cells entirely of cells organized into long, slender called tissus, with different parts typically made of filaments called hyphae). several different tissues. Fungi have nonmotile sperm. Fungi have cell wall made of chitin Some plants have motile sperm with flagella. Plant cell walls are made up from cellulose

5.2 FUNGI BODY PLAN There are three basic body plan that we should know about fungi. i. SPORE Small and tiny haploid cell that responsible to disperse to the new habitat Due to its size, it able to float and travel through the air and usually it will be produced in the large quantity to increase the possibility of it to fall onto a suitable food sources. Figure 5.1: Spore structure

Source: ii. HYPHA Have a threadlike structure that grow out from a spore Function to absorb nutrient from food source Some parasitic fungi posses a specialized hyphae called haustoria to penetrate a plant cell wall for nutrient absorption Some hyphae are coenocytic/non septate (many nuclei lying in the same cytoplasm) where the nucleus can be found throughout the MYCELIUM (another structure of fungi that will be explain later) and some hyphae are septate (the cytoplasm are divided by the septa into compartment with one or more nuclei in it) However, septa do not close off segments of hyphae completely like cell wall. Instead, gaps called pores enable a wide variety materials, even organelles and nuclei, to flow from one compartment to the next. Septa may have a single large openings or a series of small gaps that give the septum a sieve-like appearance. it enables nutrients, mitochondria and even genes can flow through the entire MYCELIUM and can be carried to the hyphal tips

Figure 5.2: Hyphae structure

Source: Figure 5.3: Septate vs nonseptate hyphae

Source: iii. MYCELIUM Formed from a mass of hyphae which is responsible in shaping the whole structure of fungi. Capable to absorb nutrient better because it consist large number of hyphae rather than individual hyphae alone. In order to ensure fungus spread out through its fo od source, hypha released chemical that causes other hyphae to grow away from it. Mycelia can grow extremely larger if the source of food are plenty. Researcher has discovered and individual mycelium growing across 1300 acres (6.5 km 2)! Which is large enough to build a city within this area. What is the differences between plant and fungi?

Figure 5.4: Mycellium mass structure


5.3 REPRODUCTION i. SEXUAL Start when hyphae (haploid/n) from two distinct mycelia release sexual signaling molecules (pheromones). Hyphae fuse together when they meet The union of cytoplasm of the two parent mycelia is known as plasmogamy (heterokaryon) In most fungi, the fusion of nucleus did not happen raight away and the stages occur after a period of time which is called karyogamy. This resulted in the formation of zygote (diploid/2n) Zygote will go a meiosis process and produces spore (haploid/n) which were then germinate into a mycelium. ASEXUAL Clones are produced by mitotic production of spores, which can be spread by air or water Some fungi that can reproduce asexually grow as molds Molds grow rapidly as mycelia and produces spores Other asexual fungi are yeasts which inhabit liquid or moist habitat.


What factor that causing fungi to reproduce sexually and asexually?

Figure 5.5: Reproduction mode of Fungi


5.4 TYPE OF FUNGI Fungi can be classified into four main divisions which are Zygomycota, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota based on their sexual reproductive structures. i. PHYLUM ZYGOMYCOTA This division include fast growing molds responsible for rotting produce such as peaches, strawberries and sweet potatoes during storage. Other zygomycetes live as parasites or as commensal symbionts of animal. Horizontal hyphae spread out over the food, penetrate it and absorb nutrients. The hyphae are coenocytic with septa found only where reproductive cells are formed. The majority of of these fungi reproduce most commonly by forming asexual spores and air currents carry the spores away which will deposit on new food sources. Only in deteriorate conditions, zygomycetes will choose to reproduce sexually which is characterized by the formation of zygospores. In sexual reproduction: Hyphae of opposite mating types meet and form a gametangium at each hyphae. The two gametangia then fuse, and some of the nuclei pair and fuse to form diploid zygote nuclei. The fused gametangia become covered with a thick protective wall containing many identical zygote nuclei; this resistant zygospore enters a period of dormancy.

A meiosis occurs when the zygospore germinates: it then sends up an aerial hyphae, which form a sporangium and releases many haploid spores. Figure 5.5: Reproduction of Zygomycota


Why does we always find fungi on an expired bread?


PHYLUM ASCOMYCOTA Figure 5.6: Ascomycetes

Source: This division vary from unicellular to multicellular and live in variety habitat, marine, freshwater and terrestrial. The distinguishable character of ascomycetes is the production of sexual spores in saclike asci (sometime ascomycetes are called sac fungi). Ascomycetes reproduce asexually by producing a numbers of spores from its mycelium called conidia. Conidia are produced externally at the tips of specialized hyphae called conidiophores. Conidia involved in sexual reproduction by Fusing with different hyphae from mycelium of a different mating type. The fusion were followed by a plasmogamy which produced ascogonium. The coenocytic ascogonium extends hyphae that are partitioned by septa, forming a dikaryotic cells. The cells at the tip of these dikaryotic hyphae develop into asci. Within an ascus, karyogamy combines the two parental genomes and the meiosis forms four genetically different nuclei. It will then followed by the mitotic division, forming eight ascopores. The ascopores develop and discharge from the ascocarp

Figure 5.7: Reproduction of Ascomycetes


Sac fungi play an important role in recycling by digesting resistant (not easily decomposed) material containing cellulose, lignin or collagen. Species are also known that can even consume jet fuel and wall paint. Some are symbiotic with algae, forming lichens and plant roots. They also known for fungal pathogens causing various plant disease. A sac fungus produces the drug penicillin, which cures bacterial infections. They are also used in food manufacturing like blue cheese and also coke.


PHYLUM BASIDIOMYCOTA The most popular fungi included in this division is mushroom and shelf fungi together with 30000 other fungi. The word basidiomycetes were originates from the Basidium which mean a little pedestal. The shape of basidium that look like a club causes it sometimes being called club fungus. Basidiomycetes are important decomposers of wood and other plant material. The life cycle of basidiomycetes usually includes a long lived dikaryotic mycelium. Asexua reproduction were less common to a member of this phylum. The sexual reproduction of basidiomycota begin with: Two haploid mycelia of different mating types undergo plasmogamy A dikaryotic mycelium forms, and keep on growing more than parental mycelia

Such factor like rain or temperature change act as a cue to actually induce the dikaryotic mycelium to form compact masses that develop into basidiocarps like mushroom The basidiocarps gills are lined with terminal dikaryotic cells called basidia Karyogamy in the basidia produces diploid nuclei, which then undergo meiosis Each diploid nucleus yields four haploid nuclei. Each basidium grows four appendages and one haploid nucleus enters each appendage and develop into basidiopores When mature basidiopores are rejected, fall from the cap, and are dispersed by the wind In a suitable environment, the basidiopores germinate and grow into short lived haploid mycelia Figure 5.8: Reproduction of Basidiomycetes

Sources: 5.5 IMPACT OF FUNGI ON ECOSYSTEM AND HUMAN WELFARE i. DECOMPOSERS Fungi are primarily responsible for keeping ecosystems stocked with the inorganic nutrients essential for plant growth. An organic matter will be decopose into its basic form like carbon, nitrogen and other element so that plant and animal could intake it back into their nutrition. Figure 5.9: Fungi as decomposers




a. Mycorrhizae Mycorrhizae of a vascular plants depend on their fungal partners for essential nutrients. It is the mutualistic relationships between soil fungi and the roots of most plants. Plants whose roots are invaded by mycorrhizae grow more successfully In poor soils (low phosphate content) than plants without mycorrhizae. The fungal partner, either a glomerulomycete or a sac fungus will enter the cortex of roots but does not enter the cytoplasm of plant cells. Ectomycorrhizae form a mantle that is exterior to the root and they grow between cell walls while endomycorrhizae penetrate only the cell walls. The presence of fungus give plant a greater absorptive surface for the intake of minerals. The fungus will receive a a carbohydrates as a benefits from the plant.

Figure 5.10: Mycorrhizae on the root sytem of plant

Sources: Figure: 5.11: The differences between ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae


b. Fungus Animal Symbiosis Some fungi share their digestive services with animals, helping breakdown plant material in the guts of cattle and other grazing animals. Many species of ants and termites take advantage of the digestive power of fungi by raising them in farms. The insect scour tropical forests in search for leaves, which they can carry back to their nests and feed to the fungi. The fungi breakdown the leaves into a substances the insect can digest. Figure 5.12: Symbiosis between ant and fungus


c. Lichens It is a symbiotic association of millions of photosynthetic microorganisms held in a mass of fungal hyphae. In the other word, it is an association between fungus and a cyanobacetrium or a green alga The fungus usually gives lichen its overall shape and structure, and tissues formed by hyphae account for most of the lichens mass. The algae or cyanobacteria (photosynthetic organism) generally occupy an inner layer below the lichen surface. They provided fungus with the nutrients that it needs. Lichen are considered a single organism even though they are made up from two distinguishable unit, fungus and photosynthetic bacteria Figure 5.13: Lichens with its cross sectional diagram.



Quick check



ZYGOMYCOTA Rhizopus (Black bread mold)

NUMBER OF LIVING SPECIES (ESTIMATE) Reproduce _________ and 1050 _________; multinucleate hyphae lack of septa except for reproductive structures; fusion of hyphae leads directly to formation of a ___________, in which meiosis occurs just before it germinates. Reproduce by sexual means; ascopores are formed inside a sac called an __________; asexual reproduction is also common. 32000


Yeasts, truffles, morels _____________


Mushrooms,Toadstools, Rusts Reproduce by sexual means; _________ are borne on a club-shaped structures called basidia; the terminal hyphal cell that produces spore is called a ______________; asexual reproduction occurs occasionally