Prepared by

Brenda Leady, University of Toledo

1 Copyright (c) The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reprod

Fungi are closely related to animals
 Both

heterotrophic – cannot produce their own

food  Both use absorptive nutrition – secrete enzymes and absorb resulting small organic molecules  Both store surplus food as the carbohydrate glycogen


Unique cell-wall chemistry
Fungal cells enclosed by tough cell walls composed of chitin  Cannot engulf food by phagotrophy due to rigid cell walls  Cell wall also restricts mobility of nonflagellate cells


Unique body form
  

Most have mycelia composed of hyphae Most of the mycelium is diffused and inconspicuous Fruiting bodies are the visible reproductive structures
 Mushrooms

are one type  Produce spores

Rhizomorphs are fungal mycelia with the shape of roots to transport water




Distinctive growth processes
Mycelia can grow quickly when food is plentiful  Grow at the edges  Narrow dimensions and extensive branching provides high surface area for absorption  Osmosis important in growth- entry of water produces force for tip extension



Septate fungi
 Septa

- Cross walls dividing cells of mycelium  Each cell has 1 or 2 nuclei  Nuclear division followed by cross-wall formation

Aseptate fungi
 Not

partitioned into smaller cells  Multinucleate  Nuclei divide without cytokinesis



Intranuclear spindle distinguishes fungal nuclear division from plants and animals
 Spindle

forms inside nucleus and nuclear envelope does not break down

Natural mycelium may be irregular in shape
 In

liquid culture it is spherical  On agar it is more 2 dimensional


Sexual reproduction

Involves mating of gametes, zygote formation and meiosis Most gametes inconspicuous fungal branches Fuse with compatible mating type

Most sexual organisms have plasmogamy (fusion of gametes’ cytoplasm) followed by karyogamy (fusion of gametes’ nuclei) In fungi, after plasmogamy, nuclei may remain separate for a long time Gamete nuclei divide at each cell division producing dikaryotic mycelium or heterokaryon

Functionally diploid

Fruiting bodies
Heterokaryotic mycelium may produce a fleshy fruiting body  All cells of the fruiting body are dikaryotic  When mature, the 2 nuclei in cells will fuse  Produces zygotes (only diploid stage)  Undergo meiosis to produce haploid spores


Structure of fruiting bodies varies in ways that reflect adaptations for spore dispersal by wind, rain or animals.


Many fungi produce substances in the fruiting body to deter consumption
 Toxins

can cause liver failure requiring a transplant  Hallucinogenic or psychoactive substances


Asexual reproduction

Many fungi reproduce both sexually and asexually Some reproduce primarily or exclusively asexually Most reproduce asexually by generating chains of spores at the hyphae tips Many use conidia

Fungal ecology
Decomposer fungi are essential component’s of the Earth’s ecosystems  Work with bacteria  Release minerals to the soil and water


Some fungi are predators trapping tiny soil nematodes


Fungal pathogens

5000 species cause serious crop diseases
 Rust

spores can be spread on the wind or by other means

Several human diseases
 Dermatophytes


athlete’s foot, ringworm  Pneomocystis carinii pneumonia in AIDS


Mutualistic fungi
Associations that benefit both partners  Mycorhizzal fungi  Endophytes  Lichens


Mycorhizzal fungi
    

Association between the hyphae of certain fungi and the roots of most seed plants More than 80% of terrestrial plants have mycorrhizae Plants receive increased supply of water and mineral nutrients Fungi get organic food molecules from the plants 2 most common types are ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae

 Coat

root surface and grow between cells of roots


 Grow

into root cell walls and plasma membranes  Arbuscular mycorrhizae form highly branched structures with high surface area


Fungal endophytes
  

Fungi live within the tissues of various types of plants Endophytes obtain organic food molecules from plants In turn contribute toxins or antibiotics that deter foraging animals, insect pests, and microbial pathogens Plants with endophytes often grow better than plants of the same species without endophytic fungi


    

Partnerships of particular fungi and certain photosynthetic green algae or cyanobacteria, and sometimes both 25,000 lichen species, but these did not all descend from a common ancestor At least five separate fungal lineages 3 major forms – crustose, foliose, fruticose Photosynthetic partner provides organic food molecules and oxygen Fungal partner provides carbon dioxide, water, and minerals


Lichens reproduce
 Sexually

with fungal partner producing fruiting bodies and sexual spores  1/3 can only reproduce asexually using soredia
Small hyphal clumps surrounding a few algal cells  Clones


Piercey-Normore and DePriest Discovered That Some Lichens Readily Change Partners Coevolution occurs when symbiotic partners influence each other’s evolution  Unclear whether this happened in lichens  Asked if pattern of speciation for fungal partner matched algal partner  Analyzed DNA from 33 lichens  Phylogenies do not match = no coevolution  Lichens often switch partners

Biotechnology applications

 

Fungi convert inexpensive organic compounds into citric acid, glycerol, and antibiotics Distinctive flavor of blue cheese Saccharomyces cerevisiae for bread, beer and wine Replace chemical procedures that generate harmful waste products

Wood pulp bleaching

5 fungal kingdoms
Chytridiomycota  Zygomycota  Glomeromycota  Ascomycota  Basidiomycota


  

 

 

Simplest fungi Earliest fungal phylum Some are single, spherical cells that may produce hyphae Others are branched, aseptate hyphae Only fungi to produce flagellate cells – for spore or gamete dispersal Live in water or moist soil Most decomposers, some parasites


Mycelium mostly aseptate hyphae  Produces asexual spores in sporangia  Named for zygospore produced sexually  Zygospore undergoes meiosis to produce haploid spores  Most are saprobes in soil  Some are parasites  Not monophyletic



   

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Only recently defined as a group Aseptate hyphae Only asexual reproduction using unusually large multinucleate spores Ability of early plants to live on land may have depended on help from fungal associations


Unique sporangia called asci  Produce sexual spores called ascospores  Asci produced on fruiting bodies called ascocarps  Occur in terrestrial and aquatic habitats



Many decomposers and parasites
 Chestnut

blight, Dutch elm disease, apple scab  Truffles, morels  Common lichen partner  Most yeasts including baking and brewing yeast and Candida albicans


Yeast Is Used as a Model System in Genomics, Proteomics, and Metabolomics
  

Saccharomyces cerevisiae long served as model system Genome completely sequenced
 6,000

genes on 16 chromosomes pombe and Ashbya gossypii

2 more genomes of close relatives
 Schizosaccharomyces

Comparative studies to examine evolution of entire genomes Metabolomics – study of all the small molecules produced in an organism

      

Most recently evolved group of fungi Important decomposers and mycorrhizal partners Produce mushrooms, puffballs, stinkhorns, shelf fungi, rusts and smuts as fruiting bodies Named for basidia that produce sexual spores called basidiospores Fruiting bodies called basidiocarps Clamp connections help distribute nuclei during cell division Reproduce asexually by various types of spores


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