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MICROBIOLOGY

LECTURE IV
FUNGI
FUNGI

The fungi (sing., fungus) are a diverse group


of eukaryotic microorganisms. Some 75,000
species have been described, although as
many millions may exist. F o r many decades,
fungi were classified as plants, but laboratory
studies have revealed at least four properties
that distinguish from plants:
FUNGI

1. Fungi lack chlorophyll

2. A fungal cell wall contains cabohydrate called


chitin and plat cell wall have cellulose

3. Most fungi are not truly multicellular like plants

4. Fungi are heterotrophic, while plants are


autotropic
FUNGI

Mainly for these reasons, fungi are placed in their


own kingdom F u n g i , wi thin the d o m a i n
Eukarya of the "tree of life.

MYCOLOGY
Study of fungi
FUNGI

Fungi generally have life cycles


involving two phases:
growth (vegetative) phase
reproductive phase.
FUNGI - MOLDS

grow as long, tangled filaments of cells that give


rise to visible colonies

On growth media, molds, such as


PeniciUium chrysogenum, grow as
fuzzy colonies visible to the naked
eye. The spores are the darker blue-
green regions of the colonies.
FUNGI - YEAST

are unicellular organisms whosecolonies o n agar


visually resemble bacterial colonies.

Petri dish culture showing colonies


of the yeastlike fungus Torulopsis
glabrata.
HYPHAE

With the notable exception of yeasts, fungi consist


of masses of intertwined filaments called hyphae
(sing., hypha).

The hyphae are the morphological unit of a


filamentous fungus and individual hyphae usually
are visible only with the aid of a microscope
HYPHAE
With the notable exception
of yeasts, fungi consist of
masses of intertwined
filaments called hyphae
(sing., hypha).

The hyphae are the


morphological unit of a
filamentous fungus and
individual hyphae usually A false-color scanning electron micrograph of
are visible only with the aid fungal hyphae growing on a leaf surface.
of a microscope
HYPHAE
Thick mass of hyphae is called a mycelium (pi.,
mycelia).

This mass is usually large enough to be seen with the


unaided eye, and generally it has a rough, cottony
texture.

The mycelium along with any reproductive structures


would represent the fungal organism .
FUNGI
Being eukaryotic organisms, fungi have one or more
nuclei as well as a range of organelle including
mitochondria , an endomembrane system, ribosomes,
and a cytoskeleton.

The cell wall is composed of large amounts of


chitin.

Chitin is a carbohydrate polymer of


acetylglucosamine units; that is, glucose
molecules containing amino and acetyl groups.
FUNGI

and strength, which,


The cell wall provides rigidity
like the cell wall of bacterial cells, allows the cells
to resist bursting due to high internal water
pressure.
FUNGI
I n many species of fungi,
hyphal cross walls, called
septa (sing., septum),
divide the cytoplasm into
separate cells

Molds have hyphae hat are either


septate or nonseptate. Septa
compartmentalize
hyphae into separate cells, although
the septa have pore through which
cytoplasm and nuclei can move. Other
fungi have nonseptate hyphae.
FUNGI
I n other fungal species, such as the common bread mold
Rhizopus, the filaments are nonseptate.

In both examples, such hyphae are considered


coenocytic, meaning they contain many nuclei i n
a common cytoplasm.
FUNGI

Because fungi absorb preformed organic matter,


they are described as heterotrophic organisms.

Most are saprobes, feeding o n dead or


decaying organic matter.

Together with many bacterial species, these fungi


make up the decomposers, recycling vast
quantities of organic matter
FUNGI

Other fungi are pathogen living on plants or


animals, and often causing disease. Most such
fungi are opportunistic and only cause disease
when given the opportunity.
FUNGAL GROWTH
Fungi acquire their nutrients through absorption,
either as saprobes or pathogens. Being mostly
terrestrial organisms, the molds and yeasts
secrete enzymes into the surrounding
environment that break down (hydrolyze)
complex organic compounds into simpler ones. A
s a result of this extracellular digestion, simpler
compounds, like glucose and amino acids, can be
absorbed.
FUNGAL GROWTH
The mycelium formed by a mold represents the
"feeding network" for these fungi. I n some
cases the mycelium can form a tremendously
large surface area for nutrient absorption
FUNGAL GROWTH

Oxygen. The majority of fungi are


aerobic organisms, with the notable exception of
the facultative yeasts, w h i ch can grow in either
the presence of oxygen or under fermentation
conditions
FUNGAL GROWTH
Temperature. Most fungi grow best at
about 23C, a temperature close to normal
room temperature.

Notable exceptions are the pathogenic fungi,


which can grow optimally at 37C, which is
body temperature.

Psychrophilic fungi grow at still lower


temperatures, s u c h as the 5C
FUNGAL GROWTH

pH. Many fungi thrive under mildly acidic


conditions at a pH between 5 and 6.

Acidic soil therefore may favor fungal turf


diseases, in which case lime (calcium
carbonate) is added to neutralize the soil.
FUNGAL GROWTH
Mold contamination also is common in
acidic foods such as sour cream, citrus
fruits, yogurt, a n d most vegetables.

Moreover, the acidity i n breads and cheese


encourages fungal growth.
FUNGAL GROWTH
Blue (Roquefort)
cheese, for example,
consists of m i l k
curds i n which the
mold Penicillium
roquejorti is
growing
FUNGAL GROWTH
Fungi called
mycorrhizae (rhiza
= "root") live
harmoniously
with plants where
the hyphae of
these fungi invade
or envelop the
roots of plants
FUNGAL GROWTH
These mycorrhizae
consume some of the
carbohydrates produced
by plants, but in return
act as second root
system, contributing
essential minerals and
water
FUNGAL REPRODUCTION
Sporulation is the process of spore formation. It
usually occurs i n structures called fruiting bodies,
which represent the part of a fungus in which
spores are formed a n d from which they are
released.

These structures may be asexual and invisible to


the naked eye, or sexual structures, s u c h as the
macroscopic mushrooms.
ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Asexual reproductive
structures develop at the ends
of specialized hyphae. A s a
result of mitotic divisions,
thousands of spores are
produced, all genetically
identical.
M a n y asexual spores
develop within sacs or vessels Sporangia of the common bread mold
Rhizopus. Each round sporangium
called sporangia contains thousands of sporangiospores.
ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Other fungi p r o d u c e spores on
supportive structures called
conidiospore

These unprotected, dust-like


spores are k n o w n as conidia
(sing., conidium; conidio = The conidiophores and conidia in the
moldlike phase of PeniciUium
"dust"). F u n g a l spores are roquefortii. Many conidiophores
extremely light and are b l o w n are present within the mycelium.
Conidiophores (orange) containing
about in huge numbers by w i n d conidia (blue) are formed at the end of
specialized hyphae (green)
currents.
ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
I n yet other fungi, spores may simply by fragmentation
of the hyphae yielding arthospore ( a r t h r o = " j o
i n t )

The fungi that cause athlete's foot multiply in this


manner.
ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Many yeasts reproduce
asexually by budding.
In this process, the cell
becomes swollen at one
edge, and a new cell called
a blastospore (blasto = "
b u d " ) develops (buds)
from the parent cell
ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Eventually, the spore
breaks free to live
independently.

The parent cell can


continue to produce
additional blastospores.
ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION
O n c e free of fruiting body,
spores landing in an
appropriate environment
have the capability of
germinating to reproduce
new unicellular yeast cells
or a new hypha

Continued growth will


eventually f o rm a
mycelium.
SEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Many fungi also produce spores by sexual reproduction.

In this process, opposite mating types come together


and fuse

Because the nuclei are genetically different i n each


mating type, the fusion cell represents a heterokaryon (h
e t e r o ="different"; karyo = " n u c l e u s " ) ; that is, a
cell with genetically dissimilar nuclei existing for some
length of time in a common cytoplasm.
SEXUAL REPRODUCTION
Eventually the nuclei fuse and a diploid cell is formed.

The chromosome number soon is separate halved by


meiosis, returning the cell or organism to haploid
condition.
SEXUAL REPRODUCTION
It is advantageous because it provides an opportunity for
the evolution of new genetic forms better adapted to the
environment than the parent forms.

For example, a fungus may become resistant to


fungicides as a result of chromosomal changes during
sexual reproduction.
FIVE PHYLA
A fungus can be cataloged into one of five phyla,
depending o n its mode of sexual reproduction.

These phyla are the Chytridiomycota, Glomeromycota,


Zygomycota, Ascomycota, and the Basidiomycota.

If the fungus lacks a recognized sexual cycle, it is placed


into an informal group called the mitosporic fungi.
The Chytridiomycota and Glomeromycota

Chytridiomycota

The oldest known fungi are related to certain members of


the Chytridiomycota, commonly called chytrids.

First, chytrids are predominantly aquatic, and not


terrestrial, organisms. This means the fungi originated in
the water along with plants and animals.
The Chytridiomycota and Glomeromycota

Secondly, being aquatic, chytrids have flagellated


reproductive cells.

No other fungi have motile flagellate cells, suggesting the


other fungi lost this trait at some point in their evolutionary
history.

Finally, like other fungi, chytrids have chitin strengthening


their cell walls.

Until recently, few chytrids had any noticeable impactfor


good or bad
The Chytridiomycota and Glomeromycota

Glomeromycota

form what some consider the most extensive symbiosis


on Earth.

These fungi represent a group of mycorrhizae that exist


within the roots of more than 80 percent of the worlds
land plants.
The Chytridiomycota and Glomeromycota

Glomeromycota

form what some consider the most extensive symbiosis


on Earth.

These fungi represent a group of mycorrhizae that exist


within the roots of more than 80 percent of the worlds
land plants.
FUNGAL GROWTH
These mycorrhizae
consume some of the
carbohydrates produced
by plants, but in return
act as second root
system, contributing
essential minerals and
water
The Zygomycota

The p h y l um Zygomycota
consists of a group of fungi
(zygomycetes) inhabiting
terrestrial environments.

Familiar representatives
include fast-growing bread
molds and other molds
typically growing on spoiled
fruits with h i g h sugar
content or on acidic
vegetables
The Zygomycota

Members of the phylum make up about


one percent of the described species of
fungi.

The zygomycetes have chitinous cell


walls and grow as mycelia with
nonseptate hyphae.

During sexual reproduction, sexually


opposite mating types fuse, forming a
unique, heterokaryotic, diploid
zygospore
The Ascomycota
Members of phylum Ascomycota (asco = "sac") or sac fungi,
commonly are called the ascomycetes.

The phyla contains many common and useful fungi, including


Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker's yeast), Morchella
esculentum (the edible morel), and Penicillium
The Ascomycota
The p h y l um also has several members associated with illness
and disease.

Aspergillus flay us, produces aflatoxin, a fungal contaminant of


nuts and stored grain that is both toxin and the most potent k
known natural carcinogen;

Cryphonectria parasitica, responsible for the death of 4 billion


chestnut trees i n the eastern U n i t e d States;\

Candida albicans, cause of thrush, diaper rash, and vaginitis.


The Ascomycota
A s a group, the ascomycetes have the ability to f orm conidia
through asexual reproduction or ascospores through sexual
reproduction. Ascospores are formed within a reproductive
structure called an ascus(pi.asci), within which eight haloid
ascospores form
The Ascomycota
Commonly known as basidiomycetes, are club fungi.

The Basidiomycota are unicellular or multicellular, sexual or


asexual, a n d terrestrial or aquatic. The most recognized members
are the mushrooms and puffballs
The Ascomycota
Th e name basidiomycetes refers to the reproductive structure o n
which sexual spores are produced. In many mushrooms, the
underside of the cap is lined with " g i l l s " on w h i c h club-
shaped b a s i d i a (sing, basidium; basidium = " s m a l l p e d e s t
a l " ) are f o r m e d.
FUNGAL DISEASES OF THE SKIN
Dermatophytosis (d e r m a t o = " s k i n " ; phyto = "plant",
referring to the days when fungi were grouped with plants) is a
general name for a fungal disease of the hair, skin, or nails. The
diseases are commonly known as tinea infections (tinea = " w o
r m " ) because i n ancient times, worms were thought to be the
cause. Tinea infections include:

athlete's foot (tinea pedis);


head ringworm (tinea capitis);
body ringworm (tinea corporis);
groin ringworm or "jock itch" (tinea cruris); a n d
nail ringworm (tinea unguium).
FUNGAL DISEASES
Dermatophytosis

The causes of dermatophytosis are a


group of fungi called
dermatophytes. Epidermophyton
currently is considered a mitosporic
fungus, while species of
Trichophyton (sexual stage
Arthroderma) and Microsporum
(sexual stage Nannizzia) are
ascomycetes Light microscope photograph
of Microsporum, one of the fungi
causing ringworm on the scalp and
body.
FUNGAL DISEASES OF THE SKIN
Dermatophytosis is c o m m o
n l y accompanied by blister-
like lesions appearing along
the nail plate, in the webs of
the toes or fingers, or on the
scalp or skin.

Often a thin, fluid discharge


exudes w h e n the blisters are
scratched or irritated. A s the
blisters dry, they leave a scaly
ring. There also can be loss of
hair, change of hair color, and
local inflammatory reactions.
FUNGAL DISEASES
Candidiasis

Candida albicans often is present in the skin, mouth, vagina, and


intestinal tract of healthy humans, where it lives without causing
disease.

The organism is a small mitosporic yeast that forms filaments called


pseudohyphae when cultivated in laboratory media.

When immune system defenses are compromised, or when changes


occur in the normal microbial population i n the body, C. albicans
flourishes and causes numerous forms of candidiasis.
FUNGAL DISEASES
One form of candidiasisoccurs in the vagina and is often referred to as
vulvovaginitis, or a "yeast infection.

Oral candidiasis is k n o w n as thrush. This disease is accompanied by small,


white flecks that appear o n the mucous membranes of the oral cavity a n d then g
row together to form soft, crumbly, milk-like curds
FUNGAL DISEASES
Sporotrichosis

People who work with wood, wood products, or the soil may
contract sporotrichosis.

Handling sphagnum (peat) moss used to pack tree seedlings or skin


punctures with rose thorns (rose thorn disease) can lead to the
disease as the result of infection by conidia from Sporothrix
schenkii

Pus-filled purplish lesions form at the site of entry, and " k n o t s "
may be felt under the s k in.
FUNGAL DISEASES
Dissemination, though rare, may occur to the
bloodstream, where blockages may cause swelling of the
tissues (edema).
FUNGAL DISEASES
Cryptococcosis

The most dangerous fungal diseases in humans.

It affects the lungs and is estimated to account for over 25 percent of


all deaths from fungal disease.

Caused by yeast known as Cryptococcus neoformans

Cryptococci may become airborne with gusts of wind, and the


organisms subsequently enter the respiratory passageways of humans.
Air conditioner filters are hazardous because they trap large numbers
of cryptococci.
FUNGAL DISEASES
If the cryptococci pass
into the bloodstream
and localized in the
brain, the patient
experiences piercing
headaches, stiffness i n
the neck, and paralysis.
FUNGAL DISEASES
Cryptococcosis

Histoplasmosis is a lung disease most prevalent in the Ohio and the


Mississippi River valleys where it is often is called summer flu.

The causative agent is Histoplasma capsulatum.

Infection usually occurs from the inhalation of spores present in


dry, dusty soil or found in the air of chicken coops and bat caves
FUNGAL DISEASES
Cryptococcosis

Histoplasmosis is a lung disease most prevalent in the Ohio and the


Mississippi River valleys where it is often is called summer flu.
The causative agent is Histoplasma capsulatum.

Cryptococcosis

Ocuprincipally in Canada, the Great Lakes region, and areas of the


United States from the Mississippi River to the Carolinas. The
pathogen is Blastomyces dermatitidis
FUNGAL DISEASES
Acute blastomycosis is associated with dusty soil and bird
droppings, particularly in moist soils near barns and
sheds. Inhalation leads to lung lesions with persistent
cough and chest pains.

Entry to the body also may occur through cuts and


abrasions, and raised, wart-like lesions often are observed
on the face, legs, or hands
FUNGAL DISEASES
Pneumocystis Pneumonia

Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) currently is the most common


cause of nonbacterial pneumonia in Americans with suppressed
immune systems.

The causative organism, Pneumocystis jiroveci