Member of the kingdom fungi include fairly familiar organism. Such as Mushrooms, toadstools, puffballs and bracket fungi.
There are also less obvious but very important members such as Mould which grow on bread, ripe fruits and other foods.
Characteristics of fungi:
Fungi are found in damp or wet places.
1. They have Eukaryotic cells with a rigid protected cell wall made of chitin (chitin contain polysaccharides and protein).
2. The body of fungi is organized into thread like structure called hyphae (singular hypha). A network mass of hyphae is called mycelium.
3. Fungi have no chlorophyll also they do not photosynthesize, their mode of feeding is heterotrophic, in this way some are saprophytic while others are parasitic.
4. They store food as glycogen
5. Fungi reproduce asexually by using spores.
PHYLUM IN KINGDOM FUNGI
There are three main phyla in kingdom fungi. These are;
1. Phylum Basidiomycota
Basidiomycota are characterized by the production of basidia.
These are microscopic of club shaped cell in which maturation of spore called (basidiospore) take place. Nature spore are prepared then are dispersed.
Examples of Basidiomycota are mushrooms, toadstool, puff balls and bracket fungi
STRUCTURE OF MUSHROOM
1. Mushrooms grow on dead and decaying matter (saprophytes)
2. They produce enzymes on the surface of their mycellium which help them to break down complex food particles.
3. The pileus is the cap of the mushroom on the under ride of the pileus are special hyphae called gills.
4. The gills produce basidiospores at their tips.
5. The stalk (or stem like part) of the mushroom is called stipe.
6. The part of the mushroom that is above the soil called the fruiting body.
7. Hyphae lie in or on substrate (the source of food).
ADVANTAGE OF KINGDOM FUNGI
1. Saprophytic fungi are important in the decomposition of dead organism.
2. Yeast is used to ferment various types of carbohydrates in order to produce alcohol.
3. Some types of fungi for example mushroom are used as food.
4. Fungi are widely used in genetic engineering and research.
5. Yeast is a rich source of vitamin B and protein.
6. Some types of fungi are used in the production of antibiotics for example Penicillium
7. Yeast cells are used in the production of lactic acid and citric acid.
8. Fungi have been used to control pest that cause damage and disease to agricultural crops.
9. Some types of fungi are used in the dairy industry to flavor cheese.
DISADVANTAGE OF KINGDOM FUNGI
1. Parasitic fungi causes disease in plant and animal
2. Fungi produce poison called mycotoxins
3. Some fungi attack the timber used in building house and make furniture
4. Some fungi destroy food e.g. Bread mould
Ascomycotes are also called sac fungi. They produce spores in sac like cells called asci. These spores are called ascospores.
Examples of ascomycotes are yeast, cup fungi, powdery mildew, penicillium and bread mould Characteristics of Ascomycotes
1. They are unicellular
2. Yeast can be found in plant leaves and flower, in salt water, in oil or warm blooded animals such as human beings.
3. Many types of yeast can ferment sugar to produce alcohol.
4. Some yeast is used in the production of beer, wine and bread. Other types of yeast cause disease.
5. They reproduce asexually by budding. Budding is where by a new organism develops as an outgrowth of the parents cell.
PHYLUM ZYGOMYCOTA (ZYGOMYCETES)
Zygomycota reproduce asexually through spores or sexually through formation of zygosporangia.
These organisms are given this name because they produce zygosporangia during sexual reproduction.
Zygosporangia are thick walled structures that contain spores and are highly resistance to unsuitable environmental condition.
When condition improve the spores germinate example of zygomycotes are mould, mucor and rhizoid.