Fungi

Mushrooms, toadstools and moulds (such as Mucor) are multicellular fungi. Yeast is an example of a single-celled fungus.

Fungal cell structure

Fungal cells have a cell wall made of chitin (remember that plant cell walls are made of cellulose).

A yeast cell showing cytoplasm, the small ribosomes, the larger mitochondrion, nucleus, cell wall and cell membrane.A yeast cell
Athlete's foot, showing infected skin between the toes
Athlete’s foot, caused by a fungus

Some fungi are pathogens, for example the fungal infection which causes athlete’s foot.

Fungal structure

Mucor mucedo, growing on a slice of bread
A multicellular fungus showing rounded spore cases and spores and thread-like hyphae

Multicellular fungi, such as Mucor, are organised into a mycelium - which is made from thread-like structures called hyphae.

The hyphae contain many nuclei.

Fungal nutrition

Fungi cannot carry out photosynthesis. Instead they use saprotrophic nutrition. They secrete enzymes onto their food so that digestion happens outside the fungal cells. They then absorb the digested organic products.

Fungal cells may store carbohydrate as glycogen (remember that plant cells store carbohydrate as starch).