Imperfect Fungi Albany Gonzalez & Sara Ramirez Period 8
Basic info. Imperfect fungi is called Deuteromycota. It is referred to as imperfect, not because the organism it self is flawed, but because scientist’s understanding of its life cycle are. Deuteromycota are fungi that cannot be placed in other phyla because it has never been observed during a sexual phase in its life cycles. Imperfect fungi is one of the four major groups in the kingdom of fungi. -Fun fact: Deuteromycota is Greek for “second fungi.”
Classifications Fungi are usually classified by the sexual phase of their life cycle A majority of imperfect fungi closely resemble ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, and zygomycetes.
Classifications continued. • Most imperfect fungi are believed to be related to the sac fungi because their conidiophores closely resemble those produced by the sac fungi during their sexual phase. • The imperfect fungi are not placed in the Ascomycota phylum because classification of that group is based on the morphology of sexual structures which the Deuteromycota do not have. • Deuteromycota can be classified in two ways: • First, their multicellular tissue is similar to the hyphae of sac fungi and club fungi. • Second, they have erect hyphae with asexual spores, called conidiophores, which are similar to those of the sac fungi and club fungi.
Penicillium Penicillium is the best known fungus in this phyla. Some species of Penicillum appear as pathogenic, blue-green molds on fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. Many other species are important in the making of cheeses, such as blue cheese, Roquefort, and Camembert. The best known product of Penicillium is Penicillin which was the first widely-used antibiotic.
DNA of Deuteromycota The general relationship of the species of Deuteromycota to fungi have been set up or found by comparing their DNA sequence. But the function of how they grow and reproduce among themselves are still remain unknown.
Examples There are around 25,000 fungus species that are grouped in this phylum. Some examples of Imperfect fungi include athlete’s foot, smut, ringworm, and aflatoxin.
Athlete’s Foot Species is called Trichophyton interdigidale. Occurs on the bottom of people’s feet because of the warm moist skin caused by wearing socks and shoes all the time in our society. The lack of ventilation to the feet also allows the fungus to grow quicker and easier. Can be extremely resistant to treatments depending on how the Athlete’s foot is formed. It is not very contagious. But if not treated early, it could spread throughout the foot.
Smut A smut is a group of plant parasitic fungi. They are biotrophic pathogens causing disease in a number of important crop plants in agriculture. Multicellular and are characterized by their large numbers of telispores. They mostly form on corn, barley, wheat, oats, sugarcane, and forage grasses. They first attack the plant's reproductive system, forming galls which darken and burst, releasing fungal spores which infect other plants that are close to them.
Ringworm Contagious fungus infection that can affect the scalp, the body, the feet (athlete's foot), or the nails. The name comes from a characteristic that a Ringworm gives, where it looks like a red ring that can appear on a person’s skin. It is also called Tinea. You can get Ringworm infection by direct skin to skin contact with an infected person or pet, indirect contact with something that an infected person or pet has touched, and rarely, by contact with soil. Ringworm can be treated with fungus-killing medicine.
Aflatoxin Aflatoxin Fungi is a toxic metabolite produced by certain fungi in and on foods. Aflatoxins often happen in crops in the field before they are harvested. Aflatoxins are often found in milk, cheese, corn, peanuts, cottonseed, nuts, almonds, figs, spices, and many other foods. Humans are exposed to aflatoxins by eating foods that are infected with products of fungal growth.