Fungi are essential to ensure a healthy and balanced existence for the fauna, flora, and human beings too. Explore amazing Facts about Fungi here!
However, are they essential for us? And what is the relationship between fungi and animals? Nicholas P. Money, the author of Fungi A Very Short Introduction, gives us 10 things that everyone needs to know about fungi and their role within the global ecosystem.
Facts about Fungi
- Fungi, mushrooms, and other species release an astonishing number of spores into the atmosphere each year, contributing up to 50 million tons of particle matter.
- Fungi are closer to animals than plants, both part of the Opisthokonta taxonomic supergroup.
- In contrast to plants, fungi don’t have chlorophyll. They lack leaves and roots and do not produce flowers, fruits, or seeds.
- Fungi are involved in all kinds of close biological relationships with other organisms. This is also known as Symbiosis. These include relations that benefit the participant (mutualism) or where one party gains at the expense of the other (parasitism).
- Fungi are among the main causes of plant diseases. Sometimes the fungus feeds on living tissue without killing the plant. Other fungi begin with the destruction of plant cells and feed on dead plant cells. Some fungi use both strategies back to the back.
- Most fungi are omnivores. They can be very efficient in dissolving animal proteins. They also can infect the tissues of animals that have weak immune systems.
- Fungi-related interactions between humans and fungi can cause harm in a variety of ways, including poisonings, exposures to mycotoxins caused by fungi, which result in food spoilage, and allergic reactions triggered by breathing in airborne spores.
- There are over 70 000 species of fungi that mycologists have identified.
- More than 90% of described fungi can be classified as basidiomycetes, which produce smuts or mushrooms that cause plant diseases, or ascomycetes. This includes truffles and yeast.
- The oldest biotechnological applications of fungi are growing edible mushrooms and baking and brewing using yeast. Nowadays fungi are utilized to create antibiotics, cyclosporine, as well as other medications.
Also, read Fun Facts About Nitrogen