Introduction to Fungi

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    Hello and welcome to Fungi. We're going to delve into this topic in a little more detail and I want to start with some general principles. And after this lecture, I hope that you'll be able to distinguish the two general types of fungi. You should know the different types of human fungal diseases and their origins, and you should be familiar with the drugs that are used to treat fungal infections. There are two kinds of fungi morphologically. Most of the fungi that we know of, are called filamentous fungi, and these are diagrammed here. They can be made up of very extensive networks of filaments. These are composed of hyphae and mycelia. So mycelium is the name for the entire filamentous growth and it's made up of smaller segments called hyphae. So these constitute most of the fungi that we know of in nature. These reproduce by dividing. They also produce spores, you can see a structure on this mycelium that produces spores and of course the spores disperse in nature on animals and in the wind and they seed new growth, so the fungi elsewhere. So these are filamentous fungi. Mushrooms are fungi. They are produced by filamentous fungi. The filamentous part of the mycelium of course grows on or in the ground, you don't see it very easily. It’s microscopic. But periodically the mycelia are simply rearranged and grouped together to form a mushroom. The mushroom comes out of the ground and its sole purpose is to produce spores, which drop out of the cap of the mushroom, they drop on the ground, they are dispersed and they initiate the growth of a new fungus. Now I say the sole purpose is to make spores, but of course humans like to eat mushrooms, some of them...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Introduction to Fungi by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Microbiology: Advanced. It contains the following chapters:

    • Eukaryotic Microbes - Fungi
    • Fungal Dimorphism
    • Fungal Infections
    • Sources of Fungal Infections
    • Antifungal Agents
    • Eukaryotic Microbes - Fungi: Learning Outcomes

    Author of lecture Introduction to Fungi

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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