Structure of Fungi

By: Ashleigh Fuller

Important terms

  • chitin

    a complex polysaccharide, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine, found in the exoskeletons of arthropods and in the cell walls of fungi; thought to be responsible for some forms of asthma in humans

  • glucan

    any polysaccharide that is a polymer of glucose

  • ergosterol

    the functional equivalent of cholesterol found in cell membranes of fungi and some protists, as well as, the steroid precursor of vitamin D2

  • mycelium

    the vegetative part of any fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, threadlike hyphae, often underground

  • hypha

    a long, branching, filamentous structure of a fungus that is the main mode of vegetative growth

  • septum

    cell wall division between hyphae of a fungus

  • thallus

    vegetative body of a fungus

  • saprophyte

    any organism that lives on dead organic matter, as certain fungi and bacteria

  • Cell structure

    -Fungi are eukaryotic, and contain a membrane-bound nucleus where the DNA is wrapped around the histone proteins.
    -Fungi cells also contain mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and the golgi apparatus.
    -Fungi do not have chloroplast or chlorophyll, unlike plants.
    -Cell wall contains chitin and glucans.

    Basic body structure

    Typical fungi consist of hyphae, (microscopic walled tubes or filaments that are lined with plasma membrane and contain cytoplasma) form the fungal body. The hyphae branch out and form the mycelium, which is the feeding network of the fungus. The hyphae's
    cell walls are made of chitin, which is a strong but flexible nitrogen structure. The fungi are able to grow rapidly due to the structure of their mycelium.


    • "Fungi Cell Structure and Function - Boundless Open Textbook." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
    • Structure. Structure. Cable News Network, Jan.-Feb. 2016. Web. 15 May 2016.
    • "Chapter 18: Concept 18.1." Chapter 18: Concept 18.1. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
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