Have you seen Frankia Puffballs,Bird’s Nest fungi,Mucorand Slime molds.

Frankia is a nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria. It induces root nodules just like Rhizobium. It is associated symbiotically with the root nodules of several non-legume plants like Casuarina, Alnus, Rubus etc. It cannot fix nitrogen in the free state.

Mucor is a filamentous fungus found in the humus of decaying soil fruits, vegetables. It is commonly known as black mold.

Mucor grows rapidly at 25-30oC, with humidity of 90-95% ( most of them are unable to grow at 37oC) and quickly cover the surface of the agar.

It requires the moist and shady place for its growth. Many sp. of Mucor cause rotting of fruit and vegetables. A few sp., e.g., Mucor pusillus are pathogenic to man.

Slime molds are protista that under certain conditions develop spores releasing fruiting bodies, superficially in a similar way that in the sporangia of fungi.

The name slime mould is applied to at least four distinct type of fungus-like organisms which differ in their structure and physiology, and which have characteristic lifecycles. These are: the cellular slime moulds (Acrasiomycetes), The net slime moulds (Labyrinthulales), the plasmodial or true slime moulds (Myxomycetes), and the so-called endoparasitic slime moulds (Plasmodiaphoromycetes).

Out of these, cellular slime moulds and true slime moulds are not considered as true fungi whereas the other two have been included fungi.However, the foregoing account is being given for true (Plasmodial) slime moulds only.

Slime moulds (500 sp.), also known as slime fungi, constitute a peculiar group of organisms having several features which are the animal like in their vegetative stages and plant like in reproductive stages. Many workers have studied them along with animals due to lack of cell wall, their ameboid movement, and feeding habit.

De Bary used the term Mycetozoa for slime fungi, Now, they are studied along with plants because of the presence of cellulosic cell wall on spores and zoospores, lack of chlorophyll like fungi, saprophytic nature and mode of reproduction like that of primitive fungi.

The fruiting bodies (sporangia) are characterized by the presence of the huge amount of calcium salt.

The Cyathus is also known as the bird’s nest fungi, and Lycoperdon is called puffballs. Both these fungi belong to the group of club fungi or basidiomycetes.

These fungi produce spores inside club-shaped fruit bodies basidium.  Basidium has four basidiospores produced exogenously. Peziza and Morchella, Claviceps belong to Ascomycetes (produce ascospores in ascocarps). Mushroom are basidiomycetes fungi. No motile cells are formed at any stage of the life cycle of basidiomycetes. The somatic phase consists of a well developed, septate, filamentous mycelium. Primary mycelium is formed due to germination of haploid spore. It is soon converted into secondary of dikaryotic mycelium. The sex organs are lacking. The sexual processes are plasmogamy and Karyogamy. Basidiocarps of basidiomycetes are comparable to ascocarps of ascomycetes, but they are not homologous.

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