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Mushroom image



When you have finished this page, try the Fungi Quiz.

Fungi are a group of organisms that at one time were considered a part of the plant kingdom and thus is being discussed at this site. Today they are in a special group called eukaryo.

This group included yeast, molds, mildews and mushrooms. It is not hard to see why they are not classified within the plant kingdom any longer. They do not make their own food as green plants do, but frequently live off of other living things which makes them parasites or symbiotic, depending on their relationship with the other living organism. Parasites are organisms that live off another living thing and do not help them in return. In symbiosis, two organisms live off of one another and help one another as they live off of one another.

Fungi also do not have the true roots, stems and leaf structures of many plants or structures that resemble these.

Fungi are found many places. Fungi have this in common. They take in or absorb their nutrition through mycelium, a structure that is important in this process. Fungi reproduce sexually or asexually by spores or in the case of yeast by budding or by fission. In budding, an organism grows a part of of its main body and this new growth eventually breaks off to become a new organism. In fission, an organism literally splits in half, sharing important nucleic information to form a new organism. Both budding and fission are more typical of lower forms of living things as a method of reproduction. Sexual reproduction is more typical of higher forms of living organisms.

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