Fungus-like protists have characteristics of both unicellular and multicellular life forms. They are often found on decaying organic matter, and reproduce by creating spores. They include slime molds and water molds. Slime molds are further divided between cellular slime molds and plasmodial slime molds.Continue Reading
Cellular slime molds live in freshwater and moist soil, and spend much of their time in an amoeba-like feeding stage. When food is scarce, many individual cells clump together in a slug-like form and move in a coordinated fashion. Once they are ready to reproduce, this slug-like form stops moving and transforms to create a fruiting body that releases spores.
Plasmodial slime molds don't live as separate cells, but instead as a large single mass of cytoplasm with many nuclei known as a plasmodium. They release spores as a way of surviving during times when a plasmodium could not. Plasmodial slime molds creep slowly from place to place, feeding on decaying material.
Water molds form branching filament structures with cellulose cell walls. Some species feed on dead plants and animals, but many are parasites. Aquatic species often parasitize fish and grow on their gills. Land species often parasitize plants. A water mold was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine.Learn more about Botany
Humans manufacture thousands of products from trees, in addition to cultivating fruits and nuts from the arboreal life forms, explains the Idaho Forest Products Commission. Byproducts of papermaking are used in chewing gum, asphalt, turpentine, paint and detergents. Cellulose fibers are raw materials for toilet seats, helmets, toothbrushes, dinnerware, nail polish and industrial explosives.Full Answer >
A fungus is a eukaryotic organism that cannot produce its own food via photosynthesis, has cell walls that contain chitin and reproduces via the use of spores, according to the University of Hawaii. Common examples of fungi include mushrooms, molds and yeasts.Full Answer >
First discovered as the cause of widespread disease in Queensland, Australia, chytrid fungus is an asexual fungus responsible for a particularly deadly infectious disease in amphibians. Chytridiomycosis is thought to be the major cause of a global decline in amphibian populations.Full Answer >
Protists are a diverse group of organisms, and they reproduce in a number of different ways, including asexual binary fission, multiple fission, fragmentation and several forms of sexual reproduction. Many protists can reproduce either sexually or asexually depending on environmental conditions.Full Answer >