What Are Fungi? How Is The Kingdom Of Fungi Classified?


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Fungi are generally multi-nucleate organisms with eukaryotic nuclei dispersed in a walled, separate or sometimes aseptate (coenocytic) mycelium; non-photosynthetic due to lack of chloroplasts and photosynthetic pigments. Nutrition is done through absorption only. Tissue differentiation is absent or limited to reproductive organs in higher forms. Primarily they are non-motile (but protoplasmic flow in the mycelium); their reproduction is both asexual and sexual.

The kingdom Fungi is classified into two divisions (phyla) – (I) Myxomycophyta and the (II) Eumycophyta.

(I) Myxomycophyta (slime molds) – The slime molds are of two types. The true slime molds are multinucleate plasmoidal forms without cells walls, moving in an amoeboid fashion ingesting solid food particles (like amoeba) and dissolved nutrients. The other type – cellular slime molds have one-celled body during feeding stage (indistinguishable from amoeba in appearance) and ingest bacteria.
(II) Eumycophyta (true fungi) – The true fungi are characterised by a definite cellular body which may be single-celled, coenocytic, or multi-cellular. The multi-cellular body is composed of much-branched filaments and is called a mycelium, the individual filament branches being called hyphae.

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