Is Archaea placed in the Kingdom of Monera

Kingdom Fungi properties, classification, reproduction

The Mushrooms kingdom It includes more than 99,000 types of organisms that are neither plants nor animals. They are multicellular ecuariote creatures, absorb nutrients from other organisms and act as decomposers. Some of the most common are mushrooms, molds, yeasts, or fungi.

They can live in a wide variety of ecosystems: air, land, water, or even plants or animals. Some are several inches tall and others are microscopic in size. Atualmente the Mushroom Kingdom is composed of the zigomycota families, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota and imperfect mushrooms.

Unlike plants, fungi lack chlorophyll, so they cannot obtain nutrients through photosynthesis; instead, they resort to other methods, such as the decomposition of organic matter. For this reason, members of the mushroom kingdom play an important ecological role and contribute to the formation of fertile soils.


  • 1 Properties of the mushroom kingdom
    • 1.1 They are eukaryotes
    • 1.2 possession of chitin
    • 1.3 You are heterotrophic
    • 1.4 Cannot photosynthesize
    • 1.5 Some fungi are saprophytes
    • 1.6 They are decomposers
    • 1.7 Some mushrooms are parasites
    • 1.8 habitat
    • 1.9 morphology
  • 2 How do mushrooms multiply?
    • 2.1 Asexual reproduction
    • 2.2 Sexual reproduction
  • 3 Examples of Mushrooms Rich Organisms
    • 3.1 Matamoscas (Amanita muscaria)
    • 3.2 Amethyst Lacaria (Laccaria amethystea)
    • 3.3 Star mushroom (Aseroe rubra)
    • 3.4 Devil's Cigar (Chorioactis geaster)
    • 3.5 Brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)
  • 4 classification
    • 4.1 The Zygomycetes
    • 4.2 Ascomycetes
    • 4.3 Basidiomycetes
    • 4.4 Incomplete mushrooms
    • 4.5 Others
  • 5 Significance for other living beings
    • 5.1 Biological insecticides
    • 5.2 Agriculture
    • 5.3 Human consumption
    • 5.4 Medicine
  • 6 references

Properties of the mushroom kingdom

The organisms of the fungal kingdom have properties of both the animal or animal kingdom and the plant or plant kingdom.

Hence, it was necessary to place them in a separate kingdom known as the Mushroom Kingdom. Some of the most important characteristics of this kingdom can be found below.

They are eukaryotes

Fungi are eukaryotic or eukaryotic organisms. They get this name because they are made by eukaryotic cells that are more developed than prokaryotes because they have a real nucleus.

They range from tiny unicellular organisms to multicellular organisms with cells that specialize in different tasks.

You have chitin

The walls of fungal cells are similar to those of plants, but they are made of chitin instead of cells.

Chitin is a white, carbohydrate-type substance made up of the union of nitrogen-containing sugar molecules. It is a common substance in nature, and it is also used to make the shells of insects and crustaceans.

They are heterotrophs

Like animals, fungi are heterotrophic because they live at the expense of organic matter made by other organisms to sustain themselves.

In this case we could call absorbent heterotrophs: they produce exoenzymes or external enzymes that allow them to break food outside, make it assimilable and then absorb it by the fungus or talo body.

You cannot do photosynthesis

Fungi do not have chlorophyll so they cannot photosynthesize and make their own food, unlike plants (autotrophic organisms) which get the necessary nutrients through photosynthesis.

Mushrooms get these nutrients through a process known as extracellular digestion. These organisms secrete digestive enzymes and then absorb the organic molecules that break down such enzymes.

Some mushrooms are saprophytes

Some fungi feed on dead organic matter, which makes them saprophytic organisms.

The word saprophyte comes from the union of two Greek terms; "Sapros" means "rotten or decomposed" and "Phytos" means "plant".

So we can say that the correct definition is: organism that feeds on the substance in a state of decomposition.

Some types of saprophyte mushrooms are:

-The mushrooms that grow and multiply in pastures: do primarily on the topsoil, decomposing and feeding organic matter residues arise from roots and stems.

- The fungi that develop on scraps of wood: Among the saprophytic fungi there are species that can inhabit forests of different tree species.

-The mushrooms grow on charred organic material after a forest fire: it can also be made on the remains of the fires occurring in the mountains because of the recreational activities. These mushrooms belong to the pyrophyll species.

They are decomposers

Organisms belonging to the Kingdom of Mushrooms are the best recyclers, playing an important role in their environment, as its decomposer can transform dead matter.

In this way, the substances assimilated by other living things return to the environment and support the flow of nutrients and energy through natural ecosystems.

Some mushrooms are parasites

Parasitic fungi are those that grow and live on living tissues, regardless of their origin.

Due to the nutritional relationship with their host, parasitic fungi can be biotrophic when they get their nourishment directly from living cells or necrotropes when they primarily ruin the parasitized cells and then ingest the nutrients from them.

Parasitic fungi often damage the host. When this happens, the man receives the pathogen. Some pathogens can even kill the host organism.

There are generally numerous cases of parasitism among mushrooms. It can be said that all living things can be victims of fungi that develop on them in one or more of their tissues.


The organisms of the fungal kingdom can occupy dark ecosystems because they do not depend on light for life, although it has been proven that light acts as an external agent that helps regulate its development and behavior.

They can grow in any medium as they have an amazing ability to adapt and develop on any surface, both in water and on land.

On the other hand, they can survive on cement, paraffin, and oil, and survive as parasites of other species.

Fungi can be found in all media anywhere on the planet, although they are more likely to multiply in humid environments. Fungi can also colonize plant, animal and human tissue.


In mushrooms, it is very important to describe their morphology because of the great diversity that exists and the difficulty of classifying them. Microscopic fungi can be unicellular, called yeasts, and characterized by grouping into chains.

The thread-like ones are called molds and every organism contains many cells. The tubular element that sprouts is called the hypha, and it grows and branches to form an intertwined group called the mycelium.

Part of the hyphae gets into the substrate and forms the vegetative mycelium. Those who go outside form the aerial mycelium, which can have a woolly or fluffy appearance. In microbiology, this conglomerate visible on the culture medium is called a colony.

The fungi that cause mycoses (infections caused by fungi) are found in two basic morphological states, such as yeast or mold.

Large mushrooms can also be found in nature. Some of them edible, some medicinal, and some poisonous. These are multicellular organisms and are found in humid areas and forests.

The body of the mushroom is made up of a series of tubular structures called hyphae. These structures contain the cytoplasm of fungi and allow it to move freely around the body.

The set of hyphae forms the so-called mycelium, which is normally hidden under the earth. However, not all fungi form hyphae, like slime molds.

The visible part of the mushrooms is called the mushroom or truffle and forms the reproductive organ. It should be noted that only Basidiomycete mushrooms produce mushrooms while Ascomycetes produce truffles.

Fungi do not have the ability to move in the environment in which they develop. They compensate for their lack of exercise with their ability to let their filaments or lice grow extremely quickly and in any direction.

How do mushrooms multiply?

The Mushroom Kingdom includes thousands of species, most of which can reproduce sexually, asexually, or both, depending on the circumstances. This allows them to adapt to the ambient conditions.

They can spread rapidly with asexual reproduction when conditions are stable.

Members of the mushroom kingdom can also initiate a genetic mutation through sexual reproduction if conditions change and that variation can help them survive.

Despite its diversity, most mushrooms have a similar structure. The main body of a mushroom is made up of a network of structures that resemble threads called hyphae. The set of hyphae is known as the mycelium.

Asexual reproduction

During asexual reproduction, some hyphae are called spore-forming bodies, sporangia, or conidia.

The spores are contained in a sack that later explodes. When the spores land in a suitable habitat, another hypha germinates, which becomes a mycelium.

Sexual reproduction

During sexual reproduction, the hyphae of each mushroom meet and unite in a process known as plasmogamy.

The result of this union is a structure called gametangia. The cell nuclei of the two individuals are fused within this structure.

Then, through a process called cariogamia, it connects the DNA of two individuals. Cariogamy produces a spore with twice as many chromosomes.

This spore is then split in half to create two spores that will eventually become new hyphae.

Examples of mushroom kingdom organisms

Flycatcher (Amanita muscaria)

This type of mushroom is also known as a fly agaric. It is an attractive and vividly colored mushroom. It has an intense red hue that turns orange or yellow with age.

The white and downy spots on the hat also often take on a yellowish hue as the fungus ages.

This mushroom is extremely poisonous. The name toadstool comes from the Middle Ages. At the time, it was common to use it as a fly killer by grating it in milk or sprinkling it with sugar.

Amethyst Lacaria (Laccaria amethystea)

This member of the mushroom kingdom is an edible species and is distributed throughout much of Europe, Asia, and North America.

Its natural habitat is the mossy and humid areas of the forests. Its taste is slightly sweet without being particularly characteristic.

This small mushroom is easily identified by structures that go from the crown to the stem, known as the gills.

This fungus initially appears completely purple, but as it ages it changes to a brownish color (oxidizes brown).

Star mushroom (Aseroe rubra)

The star mushroom originally comes from Australia. But it can also be in Tasmania, New Zealand, South Africa, Great Britain and several isolated islands in the Pacific.

The generic name of aseroe refers to the sticky and smelly substance it produces. The word itself comes from the Greek so and gnawthat translates to unpleasant juice.

The shape of the sea anemone (Actiniaria) of the mushroom body made it a believer in the specific epithet rubrawhich means red in Latin.

Although it is not officially declared toxic, it is an inedible variety because of the strong odor of putrefactive meat emanating from the adult fungus.

Devil's Cigar (Chorioactis geaster)

The devil cigar is a rare mushroom found in clusters or just under the roots of cedar trees in Texas (USA) or dead oaks in Japan.

On the other hand, it can be reached between October through April, the period of the year when the climate is cooler and the humidity is ideal for its development.

It owes its name to its shape, which is reminiscent of a dark brown or black cigar. It is such a rare variety that there is no documentation on the health effects of consuming it.

Brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

A standout feature of the Saccharomyces members is their ability to convert sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol.

Now, the yeasts used to ferment sugars in making baked goods, beers, wines, distillates, and industrial alcohols are all strains of the species Saccharomyces cervisiae.

On the other hand, yeasts can be found in soils and on plant surfaces around the world. They are especially abundant in sugary media such as the nectar of flowers and fruits.


Mushrooms are divided into three families and one group:

  1. Zigomycota family
  2. Ascomycota family
  3. Basidiomycota family
  4. Incomplete mushrooms

In this sense, the three families of fungi differ mainly in their reproductive organs.

The Zygomycetes

These mushrooms are the only ones in which the union of the hyphae directly creates a zygote, a process that represents sexual reproduction.

Asexual reproduction occurs through sporangiophores, which form spores. The Zigomycota family is the smallest family in the mushroom kingdom; Only a little more than 1050 species are currently recognized. The bread forms belong to this family, such as Mucor Mucedo.


The Ascomycetes have a sac-like or asca-like structure that contains spores that are produced during asexual reproduction.

It should be noted that there are species of Ascomycetes that reproduce exclusively asexually; This is achieved through the formation of conidia (spores that form on the ends of the hyphae).

The species in this family can be microscopic or macroscopic. In this way, some of the most famous species in the Ascomycota family are:

  • The Penicillium notatum, microscopic fungus, mode from which penicillin is extracted.
  • Yeasts, microscopic fungi that produce fermentation.
  • The Tuber melanosporum or purple truffle, macroscopic and edible mushroom.


The Basidiomycetes are the most abundant family of fungi. They are characterized by the presence of reproductive organs, called basidia, in which the spores are stored. Like the Ascomycetes, they can be microscopic or macroscopic; the macroscopic ones form mushrooms. Some known types are:

  • Pleurotus eryngii or thistle mushroom, macroscopic and edible.
  • Amanita Caesarea or pulp, macroscopic and edible.
  • Agariscus bisporus or common, macroscopic, and edible mushroom.
  • Amanita phalloides or green, macroscopic, and fatal anesthesia.
  • Puccinia, microscopic and parasitic fungi.

Incomplete mushrooms

The imperfect fungi, or deuteromycetes, are organisms that have no reproductive devices, or in any case these have not yet been discovered. Most of these are considered to be fungi that have lost the ability to reproduce sexually.

This species is the cause of most fungal diseases in humans, also known as mycosis.


Symbiosis with mushrooms

Some mushrooms form symbiotic relationships, associations between two different species that are beneficial to both. Lichen and mycorrhiza are examples of a symbiosis.


A lichen is a connection between a fungus and an alga. The algae are responsible for producing food through photosynthesis, while the fungus provides adequate conditions for the algae to survive (protection, moisture, etc.).


Mycorrhizas are a symbiosis between a fungus and the roots of trees. In this association, the fungi expand their hyphae so that the area of ​​absorption that covers the plant is greater; The plant, on the other hand, supplies the fungus with nutrients. Mycorrhizae can be of two types: endomycorrhizae and ectomycorrhizae.

They are called endomycorrhiza when fungal hyphae penetrate the outermost layers of the tree roots. In this symbiosis, the fungus usually belongs to the Zigomycota family. This type of mycorrhiza is the most common.

On the other hand, they are called ectomycorrhiza when the hyphae are surrounded but not penetrate the walls of the roots. In general, the fungus that is part of this association belongs to the Basidiomycota family, although there are also some species of Ascomycota that produce ectomycorrhiza.

Significance for other living beings

Biological insecticides

It has been known in the East since 900 AD that mushrooms have the ability to become pathogens for insects.

From the 1880s to the early 1900s, great strides were made in studying the use of mushrooms in pest control.

Nowadays it is known that there are specific fungi for the insects that attack. The fungi are unique in this area because they infect through the insect's cuticle and do not need to be ingested.

For example, they can infect sucking insects such as aphids and the anopheles mosquito.


The fungi also work together with the plants in their development. Most plants benefit from having fungi in their roots. They facilitate the absorption of water and nutrients.

With this in mind, experts say that plants were developed almost 600 million years ago thanks to fungi.

They are also the main decomposers of organic matter and provide an essential service for life on the planet by recycling nutrients.

In fact there are currently gardening supplies on the market supplying soil additives made with mushrooms.

Human consumption

Mushrooms occupy a prominent place in human nutrition. Mushrooms, mushrooms and truffles are considered delicacies.

Old people took wild yeasts from the environment and made them under anaerobic conditions to make sugar and produce CO2 and ethanol.

In the late 1850s, scientists developed a brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and used it in the French brewing industry.

In the same way, the same Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as baker's yeast, is an important ingredient in bread making.


Fungi naturally produce antibiotics to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. Important antibiotics, such as penicillin and cephalosporins, have been extracted from mushrooms.

In addition, some other valuable mushroom medicines were obtained, such as the immunosuppressant cyclosporine (which reduces the risk of organ transplant rejection).


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