The Wide Characters of Fungi

Fungi form a large eukaryotic kingdom consisting of more than 100,000 species, including filamentous molds, unicellular yeasts and mushrooms (1). They are spread through diverse habitats as free-living, parasitic or mutualistic organisms. Generally, fungi play vital roles in biosphere. They are known as efficient biodegraders due to their capability of producing wide range of extracellular enzymes to degrade complex polymers (2). Thus, they are essential in recycling the organic matter by decomposing the complex components of plant debris to a form that can be reused. However, their biodegradative abilities could cause the contamination of food sources and spoilage of consumer goods that are made from natural raw organic materials. Fungi are direct source of food, such as edible mushrooms (3,4). They are also widely used in the production of many foods and drinks, including bread, cheese, beer and wine. Many fungi also produce antibiotic substances which are widely used to control diseases in humans and animals. Some fungi can cause fungal infections in animals and humans, some fungi can produce toxic chemicals that lead to poisoning or death of humans or animals, some fungi can cause diseases in plants that result in serious damage to crops (5,6). Fungi are also used in the biological control of insect and nematode pests, increasing the yield of crops and reducing the use of chemical pesticides (7).


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