Biology - Fungi
Fungi are the members of eukaryotic organisms, which includes microorganisms such as molds, yeasts, and mushrooms.
Fungi do not photosynthesize rather they obtain their food by absorbing the dissolved molecules, usually by secreting digestive enzymes into their environment.
Fungi are found in almost every part of the world, and they can grow in a wide range of habitats, ranging from extreme environments (such as deserts) to mild (such as temperate region).
Fungi are the primary decomposers in most of the ecological systems.
The study of fungi is known as mycology.
Fungi have membrane-bound cytoplasmic organelles, for example mitochondria, sterol-containing membranes, and ribosomes.
Fungi have also a cell wall and vacuoles (property of plants).
Fungi have no chloroplast and they are heterotrophic organisms (property of animals); likewise, fungi have both the properties of plants and animals.
Advantages of Fungi
Fungi have medicinal advantages, as they have been used for the manufacturing of antibiotics and various enzymes.
One of the most popular antibiotic drug penicillin is manufactured from the fungus Penicillium.
The ‘shiitake,’ one of the types of mushroom is a source of a clinical drug known as Lentinan.
Fungi are also used as the biological pesticides to control plant diseases, weeds, and insect pests.
In Japan, Lentinan is used to treat in cancer disease.
As they feed the dead organic matters, fungi recycle about 85 percent of the carbon from dead organic matter; likewise, fungi release the locked-up nutrients so that they can be used by other organisms.
Many varieties of fungi such as oyster mushrooms, straw mushrooms, shiitakes, milk mushrooms, truffles, and black trumpets are edible.
Portobello mushrooms and Button mushrooms are usually used in soups and salads.
Fungi are also used to produce industrial chemicals, including citric, malic and lactic acids.
Fungi are frequently used to produce industrial chemicals, such as citric, malic and lactic acids.
Disadvantages of Fungi
Some mushrooms, though they look like edible mushrooms, but they are poisonous that may cause even death to the person who ate.
Some Fungi can infiltrate the external layers of the human bodies and cause itching and rashes problems.
Certain fungi appear on food stuffs and destroy them shortly.
Fungi also cause various diseases to animals (including humans) as well as plants.
Fungi cause many diseases, significant of them are −
Athlete’s foot - Taenia pedis
Asthma - Aspergillus fumigatus
Ring work - Trichophyton
Meningitis - Cryptococcus neoformans
Baldness - Taenia captis
Dermatophilosis - Dermatophilus congolensis
Wart disease of potato - Synchytrium endobioticum
Rhinosporidiosis - Rhinosporidium seeberi
Rust of wheat - Puccinia graminis tritici
Red rot of sugarcane - Colletotrichurn falcatum