Author: Jan Scholten
Recently Fungi are seen as a separate kingdom, instead of as part of the Plant kingdom. Fungi are seen as more related to the Animal kingdom than the Plant kingdom. For instance, instead of cellulose they use chitin, similar to that of insects.
From the point of their behaviour they look more like plants. They are bound to a place to the ground and cannot move.
One can see the fungi as the Uranium series of the Plant kingdom. The situation is that on the edge of life and death. Fungi are growing in dying plants and trees, breaking down the wood. They break down all kinds of decaying and dead matter.
They are mostly unseen. Fungi can cover an entire forest as one mycelium but no one sees them. Only the mushroom is the visible part and then only for some time and not for all species.
In the 19th century it was often unknown when two morphologically different forms were actually part of one species. Some fungi had apparently only asexual forms. Or their sexual forms were discovered long after the asexual forms. An independent taxonomy was developed for asexual fungi. At the beginning of the 20th century it became clear that many asexual and sexual forms were related. The independent taxonomy of asexual forms was regarded as artificial, not representative of evolutionary relationships. The taxonomy of the sexual states was considered the true classification. Many fungal species got two accepted Latin binomials, one for the asexual or anamorph form, and the other for the sexual or teleomorph form. This dual nomenclature was only abandoned in January 2012. The transition to a single name system, with one name representing all forms of a fungus, is still incomplete.
eumycota = dikarya
Yeast: unicellulair fungi, living on carbohydtaes anad forming alcohol and carbon dioxide; mostly in Saccharomycetes in Ascomycota, some in Basiodiomycota.
Mold: mostly in Zygomycota and Ascomycota; saprotrophs, mesophiles, psychrophiles, thermophiles, few opportunistic pathogens of humans; require moisture for growth and some live in aquatic environments; heterotrophs, secreting hydrolytic enzymes, which degrade complex biopolymers such as starch, cellulose and lignin into simpler substances; major role in decomposition of organic material, recycling of nutrients throughout ecosystems; many synthesise mycotoxins, siderophores, lytic enzymes which inhibit the growth of competing microorganisms.
Common molds: Acremonium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, Rhizopus, Stachybotrys, Trichoderma, Trichophyton.