Reproduction of Fungi by Sexual And Asexual Methods

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Reproduction of fungi

Reproduction of Fungi by Sexual And Asexual Methods

Characteristics of Fungi

How do Fungi and Bacteria Reproduce?

The kingdom of organisms that essentially includes yeast, moulds, and mushrooms, is termed as fungi.

It has been duly observed and amply demonstrated that fungi invariably grow as single cells, as in yeast, or as multicellular filamentous colonies, as in moulds and mushrooms.

Interestingly, fungi do not contain chlorophyll (i.e., the nature’s organic green matter), hence they are saprophytic (i.e., they obtain food from dead organic matter) or parasitic (i.e., they obtain nourishment from the living organisms), and above all the body’s normal flora categorically contains several fungi.

However, most fungi are not pathogenic in nature. Importantly, the fungi that essentially cause disease belong to a specific group known as fungi imperfecti.

In immunocompetent humans these fungi usually cause minor infections of the hair, nails, mucous membranes, or skin.

It is, however, pertinent to mention here that in a person having a compromised immune system due to AIDS or immunosuppressive drug therapy, fungi critically serve as a source of the viable opportunistic infections that may even cause death ultimately.

Diagram describe the magnified diagrammatic representations of yeast, rhizopus, aspergillus, ringworm, and crypto coccus.

Fig: Magnified Diagrammatic Representations of Yeast, Rhizopus,
Aspergillus, Ringworm, and Crypto coccus.

Another school of thought defines fungi as those microorganisms that are invariably nucleated, spore-bearing and do not possess chlorophyll, generally reproduce both asexually and sexually, and have somatic structural features that are essentially surrounded by cell walls consisting of polysaccharides, cellulose and/or chitin, mannan, and glucan.

In fact, fungi are considered to be mostly saprophytic, making use of dead organic matter as a source of energy, vital natural organic decomposers, and destroyers of food stuffs.

While a major segment of species happen to be facultative parasites that specifically able to feed upon either live or dead organic matter, and a relatively minor quantum of species may only survive on the living protoplasms.

These fungi are designated as obligate parasites thereby overwhelmingly causing disease of man, animals, and plants.

They also prove to be of reasonably great economic and medical importance.

Industrial Research: Certain fungi are intimately associated with the manufacture of bread, beer, and wines (fermentative procedures); production of edible varieties of cheese, vitamins, and organic acids (viz., lactic acid, citric acid, acetic acid etc.); and several ‘antibiotics’.

Biological Research: Geneticists and Biochemists exploit the fungi profusely by virtue of their extraordinarily unique reproductive cycles, but having a rather relatively simple metabolism.

Reproduction of Fungi

A large number of fungi invariably get reproduced both asexually and sexually. Nevertheless, the ensuing morphology, and the cycle of these reproductive structures is employed extensively in carrying out their elaborated and logical classification.

Reproduction of Fungi is Done By 2 methods, Asexual Reproduction of Fungi and Sexual Reproduction of Fungi.

Asexual Reproduction of Fungi

The most generally procedure of asexual reproduction is normally accomplished by the help of spores. In general practice most of them are found to be colourless, no visible colour (hyaline), while some of them are suitably pigmented as green, red, orange, yellow, black or brown.

As a matter of fact, their size may always range from small to large in order and their shape from spherical via oval, and needle-shaped to helical.

Virtually, the ensuing infinite variation in adequate spore appearance and their arrangement prove to be of immense utility for proper identification.

Asexual reproduction may be produced specially in a sac-like structure known as sporangium; and the spores being assigned to as sporangiospores which is called as conidia.

Asexual Reproduction of Fungi
Fig: Asexual Reproductive Structures (spores) of Aspergillus and Penicillium

Salient Features:

The spectacular features accompanying to asexual reproduction are given below;

(1) The simplest form of accessible fungal spore is known as the zoospore, which has no rigid cell wall, and is suitably moved by flagella.

(2) Flagellum is usually found to be much more complex than that observed in bacteria.

(3) Flagellum is made up of eleven (11) parallel fibrils, of which 9 forming a shape of cylinder and 2 arranged centrally.

(4) Base of flagellum move in the cell and gets connected to the nucleus by a structure known as rhizoplast.

(5) Flagellum structure (9 + 2 fibrils) is usually found to be fairly consistent with that shown for other flagellated organisms.

(6) Sporangium denominate the asexual reproductive structure related to these aquatic fungi. In its primal stages it is found to be full with nuclei and protoplasm.

(7) Cleavage takes place later on whereby the numerous sections always get developed into the related uninucleate zoospores.

(8) Eventually, pursuing a motile phase, the resulting zoospore encysts, losing its flagellum, and rests softly just before to germination.

Sexual Reproduction of Fungi

How do Fungi Reproduce Sexually?

Importantly, the sexual reproduction is characterized by the strategical union of two compatible nuclei; and the entire phenomenon may be distinctly divided into three phases, namely:

Phase I:

The organization of the gametangial (i.e., sex-organs) transport the nuclei into proximity inside the same protoplast.

It is also mentioned as plasmogamy.

Phase II:

It is known as karyogamy, which takes place with the fusion of two nuclei.

It has been duly observed that in the lower fungi the said two processes may take place in immediate sequence; whereas, in the higher fungi they do occur at two altogether different time periods in the course of their life-cycle.

Phase III : (What are reproductive parts of fungi?)

It is known as meiosis that essentially takes care of the nuclear fusion whereby the actual number of the chromosomes is distinctly and significantly reduced to its original haploid state.

Industrial Importance of Fungi

There are various essential and important industrial importance of fungi, which shall be identified briefly as under:

Manufacture of Wines and Beer Natural yeasts have been engaged over the centuries in Italy and France, for fermentation of fruit juices mostly (wines) or cereal products’ viz., malt also known as (silent alcohol) in the commercial production of various types of world-class whiskies, rums, vodkas, brandies, gins, and the like.

The high-tech industrial manufacturers of today largely make use of the critical and effective pasteurization of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

In the production of wine and beer, the lower temperature favours the fermentation of yeast.

Under these circumstances the organisms (bacteria) ar sometimes discouraged thanks to 2 major reasons, specifically :

(a) acidity of the fermentation medium, and

(b) addition of hops that exert a gentle restrictive action to the microorganisms.

Thus, the fermentation invariably takes place underneath the anaerobic conditions thereby giving rise to the assembly of alcohol (i.e., ethanol).

Examples: Following are sure typical samples of alcohols unremarkable utilized in the manufacture of ‘alcoholic beverages’, like;

(i) Silent Spirits – Spirits obtained by the fragmental distillation of alcohol made by fruit or cereal fermentation.

(ii) spirits — obtained from wine.

(iii) booze — obtained from shake cereals (Barley).

(iv) Rum — obtained from hard syrup (i.e., a by product from sugar-industry containing lost sugar up to 8–10%).

Production of Bakery merchandise:

The baker, strain of brewer’s yeast are meticulously designated for his or her specific high production of greenhouse emission underneath the aerobic parameters.

In actual observe, the Baker’s Yeast is especially factory-made for bread-making, and is accessible unremarkable as ‘dried yeast’ or ‘compressed yeast’.

These conjointly notice their rife use as a food supplement by virtue of the very fact that are fairly wealthy in B-complex vitamin variants.

Production of Cheeses

There are sure typical fungi that are specifically necessary within the manufacture of cheeses.

Example: The mould Penicillium Roquefort is typically used within the production of the blue veined cheeses.

In actual observe, the spores of the plant life are unremarkable wont to inoculate the cheese, that’s after ‘ripened’ at 9 °C to discourage the terribly growth of organisms apart from the Penicillium.

Because, the moulds happen to be of aerobic nature, adequate perforations are fastidiously created within the main bulk of the cheese therefore on permit the passage of air to achieve entry.

However, the chemical decomposition reaction of fat takes place to contribute these cheeses a characteristic flavour.

Curiously, the mould Penicillium Camembert grows significantly on the surface of the cheese, and develops inwards manufacturing the characteristic phase transition and softening of the surface, i.e., in distinction to the same P. Roquefort that grows inside the body of the cheese.

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