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What are some examples of fungi?

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Quick Answer

Notable fungi include yeast, also known as saccharomyces, penicillium chrysogenum, aspergillus oryzae and fusarium venenatum. Various fungi are used in foods and medicines, in contrast to fungi that serve as pests.

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Yeast is a unicellular fungus that reproduces asexually. It can be used in bread and wheat based products or in the process of fermentation in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages. Aspergillus oryzae, also known as Shoyu koji mold, is used in brewing soy sauce and sake. Aspergillus oryzae is also used in the preparation of miso. Fusarium venenatum is used in the production of a meat substitute known as Quorn. Agaricus bisporus, button mushrooms, are commonly used as a pizza topping or salad ingredient. The tuber species of fungi are prized as an ingredient known as truffles. Many varieties of the tuber species are difficult to domesticate and are thus extremely valuable.

As opposed to fungi that are utilized in products to benefit humans, fungi can also cause problems in humans. Tinea corporis is the cause of dermatophytosis, also known as ringworm. Other fungi of the tinea genus cause similar conditions, such as athlete's foot and jock itch.

Fungi are unable to manufacture their own food through photosynthesis and are as heterotrophs. Many fungi are parasites which feed on other life forms in order to sustain themselves.

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