Importance of Fungi

Importance of Fungi: Fungi are a group of non-motile eucaryotic organisms which exist as saprophytes,  parasites or commensals. They possess differentiated nuclei surrounded by a nuclear membrane and reproduce either by budding or by forming spores. They have rigid chitinous cell walls. Morphologically fungi may be either simple oval cells or long tubular septate hyphae showing true lateral branching. All fungi are chemoautotrophs, requiring organic compounds for energy and carbon. Fungi are aerobic or facultatively anaerobic. The majority of fungi are saprophytes in soil and water. They divide asexually, sexually or by both processes. They may be unicellular or multicellular.

Importance of Fungi

1. Fungi are important sources of antibiotics. e.g. Penicillin (Penicillium notatum), Griseofulvin (Penicillium griseofulvum), Cephalothin (Cephalosporium species) etc. 

2. Yeasts and moulds are good sources of different enzymes e.g. amylase produced from Aspergillus species. 

3. Moulds (Aspergillus species) are used in the production of citric, oxalic and gluconic acid. 

4. Fungi have been used to alter the texture, improve the flavour, and increase the palatibality and digestibility of natural or processed foods e.g. Penicillum species is used for ripening of certain varieties of cheese. 

5. Edible wild or domesticated varieties of mushrooms are important as food sources. 

6. Yeasts are used for fermentation purposes in the production of beverages and juices as well as brewing and baking e.g. Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 

7. Moulds are also used for the production of industrial alcohol by fermentation e.g.  Fusarium species. 

8. Fungi can break down complex organic substrates. This is an essential activity in the recycling of carbon and other elements in the cycle of life.

Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Sterility Indicators
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