Fungi refer to the plural form of fungus. Fungi are a group of eukaryotic living organism. They are also known as the “death eater”. Fungi can be a single cellular organism like yeast or a multicellular organism such as mushrooms. Unlike plants, they cannot produce food on their own and depend upon the other living organism for their survival mainly on dead organisms. They consume food by releasing enzymes on the prey. The enzymes released, break down the complex components into simple particles which are absorbed by fungi as food.
Fungi mainly depend on dead organism but the fungi that depend on the living organisms are known as parasites. Parasites can be seen under the microscope like brown rot in peaches and can be studied. They can be toxic and causes infections in animals. The domestic animals exposed to toxic fungus get fungal infections. One of the most common diseases in cattle and sheep is facial eczema caused by the fungus named Pithomyces chartarum. Another fungus named Chytria Batrachocytrium dendrobatidis led to the extinction of Archer’s frog in New Zealand.
The next parasite, zombie ant fungi is known to manipulate the ants’ brain. When the ant comes across the fungus spores while foraging, fungus infects the ant and spreads throughout the body of ants. After entering in the ants’ body fungi releases some chemicals that take over the central nervous system of ants. They manipulate ants’ brain to climb over vegetation. They clamp down to the leaf or a twig before it kills the apple drone.
Uses of fungus:
Fungus is also an important part of the environment. It is used in making some of the basic products like medicine, food, and enzymes helpful in certain industries. It is also useful for the ecosystem in breaking down dead plants and animals to convert it to a more useful form.
So far we had a brief layout about fungus and its characteristics. You also got to know some interesting fact about fungus. To know more about fungus, watch the video.