We explain to you what the fungi kingdom is, what are its characteristics and classification. In addition, how is your nutrition, reproduction and examples.
What is the kingdom?
The kingdom was one of the groups in which biology classifies known life forms. It is made up of more than 144, 000 different species of fungi, among which yeasts, molds and mushrooms, and which share fundamental characteristics. Like immobility, heterotrophic feeding and certain cellular structures.
The ` ` fungi '' exist throughout the world and in different habitats, appearing in different forms and presentations: `` the traditional idea that we have of them is the mushroom, with a hood. '' n elongated white body, but that is just one of the many known species within the kingdom.
Of all the fungi that inhabit our planet, only 5% have been studied and classified, and it is estimated that there are about 1.5 million species a n unknown. This is partly due to the fact that in ancient times the `` fungi '' were classified as a type of plant, until they began in the 19th century Distinguish them as a separate biological kingdom.
Science that specializes in the members of the kingdom is called a microscope.
See also: Kingdom Plantae.
Characteristics of the kingdom
The members of the kingdom functioned the following fundamental characteristics:
- They lack their own mobility. Mushrooms grow in the soil, on surfaces, or on trunks or decomposing organic matter, depending on your preferences, but just like plants, they stay their entire lives in the same place, unable to move at will.
- They have a cell wall. Fungal cells are eukaryotic, that is, with a defined cell nucleus, and have a rigid cell wall, similar to that of plant cells, but instead of being composed of cellulose, in fungi it is composed of chitin, the same substance that gives insects the hardness of their exoskeletons. In addition, they are elongated cells and can contain several nuclei, have vacuoles but not chloroplasts, because they do not make photosynthesis.
- They grow like hyphae. The growth of fungi occurs as hyphae, cylindrical and uniform structures that can range from a few micrometers to several centimeters in length, being able to overlap in a branching or branching process.
Classification of the fungi kingdom
The classification of fungi has been reworked throughout the history of biology, as better recognition techniques are developed and fungi are distinguished from other protist and chromistic life forms that resemble them. The current classification of the kingdom is as follows:
- Basidiomycete fungi ( Basidiomycota ). Those who develop mushrooms (basidicarpos), from which the fungal reproductive spores are born.
- Ascomycete fungi (Ascomycota). Those who instead of mushrooms have ascas, spore-producing sex cells.
- Glomeromycete fungi (Glomeromycota). Mycorrhizae, that is, symbiotic junctions between a fungus and the roots of a plant, in which the former grants nutrients and water, and the second carbohydrates and vitamins that it cannot synthesize.
- Zygomycete fungi (Zygomycota). Molds that form zigosporas, that is, spores capable of withstanding adverse conditions for a long time until they can finally germinate.
- Chytridiomycete fungi (Chytridiomycota). Those microscopic and primitive fungi, usually aquatic, that reproduce by flagellated spores (zoospores).
Fungi Kingdom Nutrition
The nutrition of fungi is always heterotrophic, that is, they cannot generate their own food like plants, but they must decompose organic matter from other forms of plant or animal life. Depending on how they do it, we can talk about:
- Saprophytic fungi. They are nourished by the decomposition of organic matter of waste, whether specific or not, that is, of a certain type of exclusivity. Organic matter of anyone in general.
- Micorrhizen. They are nourished by a symbiotic relationship with the plants, by colonizing their roots and exchanging with them different minerals and water nutrients. Generated by the fungus, in exchange for carbohydrates and vitamins that the fungus is unable to synthesize on its own. This is known as mycorrhizae .
- Lichenized They nourish themselves through symbiotic relationships as a result of the union of the fungus and an oceanic seaweed, establishing a relationship so close. They can be considered the same individual. They are similar to mycorrhiza.
- Parasites. They nourish directly from the body of other living beings, either established on their surface or colonizing inside their body, causing them various damages that can be minor or even lethal .
Reproduction of the fungi kingdom
Fungi reproduce in a sexual and asexual way, always through the production of spores. These are equivalent to the seeds of trees. : Resistentes forms resistant to the environment that, when they finally meet the optimal conditions, germinate and create a new specimen of the fungus. The growth of the hyphae, once the spores germinated, can be very fast, and in some cases can be seen with the naked eye (a tropical fungus grows about 5mm per minute).
The spores are formed as a last part of asexual (mitosis) or sexual (meiosis) reproduction processes, depending on whether the fungus requires rapid spreading, for which asexual replication is preferable, or if it requires genetic variation, for which it will require the exchange of genetic material with other individuals of the same species.
More in: Fungal Reproduction
Importance of the kingdom fungi
Fungi carry out an important ecological role in their various appearance niches, helping to decompose and recycle organic matter, such as animals or dead plants, decay, dried leaves and fallen trees, trunks of felled trees, etc., together with bacteria and certain species of insects.
On the other hand, many species of fungi are useful to humans, either as edible species, such as mushrooms, or as decorative species in gardening. We should also highlight the importance of yeasts in the processes of brewing beer, bread and other products, in which they play a vital role in the biochemical transformation of substances
Poisonous or poisonous fungi
There are species of fungi that cause dangerous toxins, some even being lethal if ingested, or if their spores breathe for a long time. These toxic enzymes can They will induce the human being or in other animal conditions such as tachycardia, vomiting, colic, cold sweat, thirst, bloody excretions or even pressure decompensation. n arterial, depending on the amount consumed. These effects may, without treatment, cause necrotic damage to the liver and kidneys, and may cause death.In other cases, however, the toxic effects are mild and can be lyrical, that is, hallucinogenic, so that their recreational intake can occur in some human communities.
There is no simple rule to distinguish poisonous from edible fungi .
Examples of the fungi kingdom
Some common examples of fungi are:
- The mushroom champi n ( Agaricus bisporus ). Farmed on farms and part of the regular diet of many countries.
- The athlete's foot fungus ( Trichophyton rubrum ) . one of the 42 species of parasitic fungi that can infect human skin, in those cases in which it is constantly subjected to moisture.
- The Indian bread fungus ( Cyttaria harioti ) . a species that parasites the trunks of the trees of the American South (Chile and Argentina), generating tumors or yellowish nuda that obstruct the sap ducts, as well as edible fruits called pan of Indian .
- The corn fungus ( Ustilago maydis ). Also called huitlacoche or cuitlacoche, it is a fungus that grows among the corn kernels, generating edible structures that in Mexico and other countries are considered a delicacy.