Anatomy of Fungi


Any of a diverse group of eukaryotic single-celled or multinucleate organisms that live by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow, comprising the mushrooms, molds, mildews, smuts, rusts, and yeasts, and classified in the kingdom Fungi or, in some classification systems, in the division Fungi (Thallophyta) of the kingdom Plantae

FUNGI Structure

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Pileus (Cap of a Fungi)

The cap can be shaped differently depending on the species and the stage of growth. It can be flat or spherical. The surface can be either smooth, hairy, or carry scab like fragments. The color, shape, and texture of the cap can help identify the type of fungi. The cap supports and protects the gills or pores which are where spores are produced. They also contain spores in the gills and disperse the spores on the wind.
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Gills, known as "lamellae" in Mycologese, are plant like, blade like structures arranged radially along on the underside of a mushroom's cap. They can also be attached to the stalk or free. Examining gills is also important to identifying a mushroom. Their sole purpose is to provide a large surface in which the spores can be produced and develop. And from where they can be dropped/ dispersed from the gills by the millions. Then they are scattered by wind currents.
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The annulus, or ring of the mushroom, is the skirt-like ring structure that is sometimes found on the stipe/stalk of some species of mushrooms. The annulus is the remnant from the partial veil that covered the immature gills of a young mushroom. The partial veil tears as the mushroom grows, leaving behind a ring of thin tissue on the stalk, which is the annulus. The veil provided extra protection for the spores when the toadstool was young. The purpose of the rings is for protection - either of the entire mushroom or just of the mushroom's gills.
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Stipe is the technical term for a fungi's stalk or stem. The stalk is the cylindrical structure that supports the cap of the mushroom so that when the spores drop down they are high enough off the ground to drift away. Like all tissues of the mushroom other than the hymenium, the stipe is composed of sterile hyphal tissue. The features of the stipe help make a positive identification of a mushroom, stalk can range in thickness, shape, texture, etc.
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A hypha (plural hyphae) is a long, branching filamentous, structure of a fungus,and are usually colourless threads. The main body of most fungi is made up of hyphae. In most fungi, hyphae are the main mode of vegetative growth, and are collectively in a tangled web called a mycelium; yeasts are unicellular fungi that do not grow as hyphae. Hyphae are asexual, root-like threads. A hydra thread originates from a single, haploid spore that has repeatedly undergone mitosis. Hyphae grow at their tips. During tip growth, cell walls are extended by the external assembly. Hyphae may be modified in many different ways to serve specific functions. Some parasitic fungi form haustoria that function in absorption within the host cells.
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Mycelium is the name for a cluster of hyphae. The mycelium is the hidden ‘body’ of the fungus. It finds foods for the fungus and when conditions are suitable it is able to produce a toadstool. The mycelium composes the primary organismal part of the fungus. Mycelium extend the area in which a fungi can find nutrients. The mycelium is generally too fine to be seen by the naked eye, except where the hyphae are very closely packed together. Through the mycelium, a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment. It does this in a two-stage process. First, the hyphae secrete enzymes onto or into the food source, which break down biological polymers into smaller units such as monomers. These monomers are then absorbed into the mycelium by facilitated diffusion and active transport.
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Spores are haploid cells, the reproductive cells of fungi. A spore is a unit of asexual reproduction that may be adapted for dispersal and for survival. They are microscopic, and are produced either in asci or on basidia, depending on the mushroom. An ascus (plural asci) is the sexual spore-bearing cell produced in ascomycete fungi. A basidium (plural basidia) is a microscopic, spore-producing structure found on the hymenophore of fruiting bodies of basidiomycete fungi.
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A "volva" is a ruptured, sack-like covering at the base of the mushroom's stem. The volva results from the mushroom pushing through the universal veil, if the fungi has an universal veil.
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