There are a lot of things to know about Fungi. Pupils have to study a lot to know everything about Fungi. But, we are trying to give students a quick knowledge of Fungi by picking some important facts about Fungi. This will help students to summarise their learning about Fungi. So, here are 22 fast facts about Fungi.
22 Fast Facts About Fungi to Boost Learning
Fact 1: Fungi were earlier placed in the Plant Kingdom, due to the morphological similarities that they share with plants. It was after phylogenetic analysis carried out by means of molecular methods, that a separate group called fungi was formed.
Fact 2: Fungi don’t possess chlorophyll and therefore, obtain nourishment from hosts by acting as parasites. Many fungi species are saprophytes and they obtain food from dead organisms.
Fact 3: Fungi are both microscopic and macroscopic in fem. The most common structural forms of microscopic fungi are the hyphae. The diameter of the hyphae ranges from 2 IO micrometer, while their length can extend up to few centimeters. The structure formed as a result of the interweaving of hyphae is known as mycelium.
Fact 4: Macroscopic fungi are easily visible to naked eyes. Common forms of these fungi are molds and mushrooms.
Fact 5: Pheromones, the chemicals produced by fungi, play an important role in sexual reproduction. The male and female communicate with each other by means of pheromones.
Fact 6: In most fungi, asexual reproduction takes place by means of vegetative spores known as conidia. Mycelial fragmentation is also a form of asexual reproduction.
Fact 7: Fungi found in low nitrogen environments exhibit adaptations like sticky knobs and nooses. These adaptations help the fungi in trapping small animals like nematodes. The small animals are then degraded to obtain food/nutrients from them.
Fact 8: Some types of fungi live in symbiotic relationships with other living beings. For example, the fungus, lichens, and green algae (an autotrophic organism) live together symbiotically.
Fact 9: The fungi are known to cause various diseases in plants, animals, and human beings. Athlete’s foot and ringworm are common problems caused by fungi in human beings. The plant diseases caused by fungi include stem rots, leaf rots, smuts, rusts, etc.
Fact 10: Puffball fungi are used in medicines. However, it is interesting to know that these organisms had religious importance in the culture of North American Indians. A tribe known as Blackfoot believed that puffballs were fallen stars and that they fell to earth during a supernatural event.
Fact 11: Red squirrels gather and store dried fungi in trees and eat them in the winter season. The quantity of such dried fungi gathered by this squirrel is huge.
Fact 12: There are more than 60 species of fungi that exhibit the phenomenon of bioluminescence. Light is emitted from the bodies of such fungi.
Fact 13: A newly discovered fossil of fungi is said to be millions of years old. Fossils found earlier were at the most 10,000 years old. This mushroom was therefore placed in a separate genus called Coprinites.
Fact 14: If provided with right conditions, some mushrooms can stay dormant for centuries.
Fact 15: Fungi are also used in the absorption and digestion of industrial waste, pesticides, and oils.
Fact16: The Death Cap, Amanita phalloides is responsible for 90% of deaths caused by fungus poisoning world-wide.
Fact 17: There are at least ten times as many fungi as vascular plants, and this means at least 250,000 for Australia, of which we probably know fewer than 5%.
Fact 18: The Vegetable Caterpillar, Cordyceps sp., reproduces by its spores germinating in the body of a caterpillar, which is then completely replaced by the growing fungus.
Fact 19: Yeasts, used in making beer and bread, are a kind of fungus.
Fact 20: The rare Long-footed Potoroo is known to eat several species of underground fungi in southern Australia and is thought to be an important vector for dispersal of the spores of native truffles.
Fact 21: The stinkhorns and related species, such as Fungimap target species Aseroé Rubra and Anthurus archery, give off a powerful smell of rotting meat, attracting flies which then disperse the spores.
Fact 22: African termites actually cultivate a species of fungus, Termitomyces.