Yeast and mushrooms are two of the most common examples of fungi organisms. Fungi organisms can be decomposers, plant parasites and can cause diseases in humans and animals.
Athlete's foot is caused by a fungus, and penicillin is made from a fungal mold. Fungi comes in all shapes and sizes, from single cells to organisms that are very complex. There are three major groups of fungi.
- Multicellular filamentous molds These molds are composed of hyphae, which are very small threads. As the hyphae grow, they begin to intertwine and eventually form a mycelium. Some of the hyphae have spores, which is how the mold reproduces. Weather and animals spread the spores to new environments where they grow to produce new hyphae.
- Macroscopic filamentous fungi This fungi grows by producing the mycelium below ground, instead of above as with the first group. . This group of fungi is commonly referred to as mushrooms. Beneath the mushroom cap are gills, which contain the spores.
- Yeasts Yeast is most commonly associated with making bread and brewing beer. Another species of yeast, candida, can cause infections for those with a compromised immune system. Yeast is a small, single-cell organism about the size of a red blood cell. It reproduces by breaking a child cell off of the parent cell.