Hello, and welcome to the wonderful world of fungi, when most people think of a fungus they think of what? Mold, itchy feet, and that nasty green stuff on a month old sandwich. However these are only some of the characteristics of some types of fungi.
First, we'll go into the several types of fungi that can prove to be helpful. The most widely accepted helpful fungi is Penecillium, this is the type they use in the common drug penicillin. Another helpful type is saccharomyces sp, sounds complicated, but in fact is simply bakers yeast, the kind used to make bread rise. Apart from these two uses, without mold to decompose waste the world would be filled to the brim with dead bodies, old food, and all sorts of other biological matter.
On the other hand fungus has quite a large negative case against it. Most species of fungi only cause allergies to flare up, however some can cause serious health issues and even death. Absidia is a type of fungus that grows in your lungs, sinus cavity, eyes, and even on you brain, and causes mucorosis. Syncephalastrum sp, causes a large fungal ball to form in the respiratory system of the infected organism.
Now onto the structure of fungi, most fungi is multicellular, however in some cases, such as yeast, the fungi is unicellular. Multicellular fungi produces filaments called hyphae, hyphae can be described as a kind of root, they branch out extensively to form a system of mycelium. There are many types of hyphae, depending on what type of fungi they sprout from. When a Rhizopus spore settles on a food source the hyphae, in this case called stolons, grow horizontally along the top. Other types of fungi produce rhizoids, these types of hyphae penetrate into the food source and make anchors. There are also different types of mycelium, each having a different job, some anchor the fungi in place, others obtain nutrients from the food source, and still others form fungal reproductive structures.
For a long time fungi was...