Sunday, February 05, 2006

Fungi Structure

With the exception of one-celled species, most fungi are composed of threadlike tubular filaments called hyphae. Each individual hypha is surrounded by a fairly rigid wall usually made of chitin—the same material that forms the exoskeletons of insects. Hyphae that are partitioned by dividing cross walls are called septate hyphae, and hyphae without cross walls are called nonseptate hyphae. Fungal cells contain cytoplasm, which is a mixture of internal fluids and nutrients. Cytoplasm flows freely within the hyphae, providing nutrients wherever they are needed.

Hyphae grow by elongation at the tips and by branching to form an interwoven mat known as the mycelium. As the mycelium develops, it may produce large fruiting bodies or other structures that contain reproductive spores. Fruiting bodies are often the most visible structure of a fungus, usually growing above the soil or other surfaces so that the spores can be dispersed by air currents or other mechanisms. In contrast, the mycelium is usually hidden beneath the surface of the plant, animal, or other material it is decomposing. For example, a mushroom mycelium is typically buried beneath the soil surface, while its fruiting body, the familiar umbrella-shaped structure, sprouts from the ground.

more info at: oralthrushandcandidaalbicans.htm

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