Multicellular fungi are made of thread-like structures called hyphae (singular hyphae) that form a mycelium. e.g. Saccharomyces cereviseae (bread yeast). Others include Penicillium, Rhizopus, and edible mushroom
Table of Contents
Economic Importance of Fungi
Beneficial Effects of Fungi
- Some fungi are used as food e.g. mushrooms.
- Some are decomposers which enhance decay to improve soil fertility – recycling of nutrients e.g., toadstools.
- Some are useful in brewing and bread making e.g., yeast. Yeast is used as food – a rich source of Vitamin B.
- Some are useful in production of antibiotics e.g., Penicillium griseofulvin.
- Used in sewage treatment e.g., Fusarium spp.
Harmful Effects of Fungi
- Some cause food poisoning by producing toxic compounds e.g. Aspergillus flavus which produces aflatoxins.
- Some cause food spoilage, fabric and wood spoilage through decomposition.
- Some cause diseases to humans e.g., athlete’s foot and ringworms.
- Others cause diseases to plants e.g., potato blight (Irish potatoes) rust in tomatoes and smuts in cereals.