Common fungi:  mushrooms, moulds, yeast and truffles

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1. Cell Type: eukaryotic

2. Type of Reproduction: asexual and sexual life cycle

Sex cell = spores

– made by the sporangium

– spores are spread by wind

– spores germinate (grow)

Asexual fragmentation may also occur

3. Characteristics

  • nonmotile
  • mycelium –  vegetative part, under ground
  • wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours

4. Ecological Role

  • 1. Decomposers – transforms dead material to new material for plants
  • 2. Human uses – yeast to make bread, wine and beer
  • 3. Bioremediation – decomposes harmful pollutants and hazardous chemicals
  • 4. Helps other organisms (symbiotic relationship) eg: helps roots of plants absorb nutrients
  • LICHEN : a combo of green algae and fungus growing together to help plant growth (act like soil for plants to grow on rocks)
  • Lichens are also indicators of air pollution since they absorb water from the air to provide for the plants

5. CONNECTION to HUMAN HEALTH

– skin infections such as athlete’s food and ringworm

– poisonous mushrooms (Amanita) can cause death by producing neurotoxins if ingested

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