Fungi - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Fungi.
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Structure and Life Cycle

Fungi are nonphotosynthetic, lacking the chlorophyll of higher plants and algae, and are recognized by their fruiting bodies, which is the visible part of the fungus. Examples include mushrooms, puffballs, molds, cup fungi, and morels. The vegetative structure consists of minute filamentous cells called hyphae, which are microscopic in size, usually from 1 micron to 10 microns in diameter. An aggregate of hyphae is called a mycelium, which is the thallus or vegetative part of the fungus plant known as spawn in the mushroom industry. In the kingdom Fungi, the mycelium has one haploid nucleus per cell (only one set of chromosomes) or is dikaryotic (two haploid nuclei per cell). In contrast, in the kingdom Stramenopila, mycelium has diploid nuclei (one nucleus with chromosomes from both parents). In both kingdoms, the mycelium has rigid cell walls usually composed of chitin (a complex carbon compound), although it is...

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This section contains 1,861 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Fungi Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Fungi from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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