Natural Sciences

Fungi kingdom

The fungi kingdom or kingdom of fungi , is the one that contains all the species of fungi, yeasts and mold on the planet. Although it could be believed that it is part of plants, they are separated from this kingdom because their functions and structures are somewhat different. However, it does share characteristics with the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom.

Kingdom Characteristics

Fungi have eukaryotic cells , that is, this means that their cells have a nucleus surrounded by a cell membrane made of cellulose, like plants, or chitin, like animals. They also have cellular organelles, vacuoles, and produce spores.

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There are about 200 species within this kingdom. They are living beings that prefer humid or totally aquatic environments.

Many species of this kingdom are osmotrophs , in other words, they produce their own food through the release of enzymes that simplify food macromolecules that are then absorbed from their surface. This feeding process is called phagocytosis or pinocytosis.

Some fungi and other species of this group are characterized by having sexual or asexual reproduction and the process is carried out through their spores. Not like the organisms of the Monera kingdom, where everyone is asexual.

Importance of the fungi kingdom

The relevance of fungi is in main function for the rest of nature: they decompose dead organisms.

In addition, in a member of this kingdom, many years ago, a substance that is very important for medicine was discovered: penicillin . Is the mold Penicillium notatum the species that contains it.

Types of species within the fungi kingdom

  • Basidiomycete fungi (Basidiomycota). They are species that develop mushrooms (basidicarps), where the reproductive spores of the fungus.
  • Ascomycete fungi (Ascomycota). Instead of mushrooms, these fungi have asci, spore-creating sex cells.
  • Glomeromycetes fungi (Glomeromycota). They are fungi that develop mycorrhizae, that is, a beneficial relationship (symbiosis) with the roots of a plant, in which the fungus provides nutrients and water, while the plant provides it with carbohydrates and vitamins that it cannot synthesize.
  • Zygomycete fungi (Zygomycota). They are molds that produce zygospores, that is, spores that endure hostile conditions for a long time, until they are finally able to germinate.
  • Chytridiomycete fungi (Chytridiomycota). Microscopic and primitive fungi that live in water and reproduce by means of flagellated spores.

Examples of species from the fungi kingdom

These are some of the most common fungi:

  • Mushroom (Agaricusbisporus).
  • Athlete’s foot fungus (Trichophytonrubrum).
  • Indian bread mushroom (Cyttariaharioti).
  • Corn fungus (Ustilagomaydis).

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