What is the structure of fungi?


Quick Answer

Fungi are structured in filaments called hyphae, which are made up strings of cells and separated from one another by septa or crosswalls. Many of these hyphae grouped together make up mycelium.

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Full Answer

The septa, or crosswalls, between each filament are riddled with pores, allowing the flow and transport of nutrients throughout the fungus. Although the majority of fungi are made up of hyphae filaments forming a mycelium structure, coenocytic hyphae are net separated by walls.

A fungal cell is made up of a nucleus and organelles. Like plants, fungi cells are surrounded by cell walls, but the cell walls do not have chloroplasts, which are the units in which photosynthesis happens, because fungi do not make food from the sun. The cell walls are made up of four components: chitin, glucans, proteins and melanin. Chitin is made up of strands of sugar bonded together in order to form a strong pattern in the wall. Glucans are also made up of bonded sugar, but they have a more flexible shape. The melanin helps to strengthen the cell wall as well as protect the fungus from sun damage. Some of the proteins keep water within the cells, protecting the fungus from dehydration.

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