Anatomy of Fungi

By Aliza Habib

structure of fungi

The main body of most fungi is made up of fine, branching, usually colourless threads called hyphae. Each fungus will have vast numbers of these hyphae, all intertwining to make up a tangled web called the mycelium.

Fungal mycelium is mostly hidden from human view, not only because of its small size, but also as a result of its location. The tangled mycelial mass is usually hidden deep within its food sources, such as rotting matter in the soil, leaf litter, rotting wood, or dead animals. The mycelium remains undetected until it develops one or more fruiting bodies, containing the reproductive spores.

Some of the oldest living organisms!

fungi are unicellular or multicellular thick-cell-walled heterotroph decomposers that eat decaying matter and make tangle of filaments.

fruiting body

Some fungi become noticeable only when producing spores (fruiting), either as mushrooms or molds. The fruiting body is part of the sexual phase of a fungal life cycle. The rest of the life cycle is characterized by the growth of mycelia.