- Fungi have no chlorophyll and therefore cannot make their own food.
- Fungi are exo-digesters (digest food outside their bodies by excreting enzymes that ooze out of the fungus body, and then absorb digested material through the cell walls).
- Fungal cells are simple in structure and function – each a clearly visible central body with nucleus. Most are tubular in shape, connected end to end and thereafter deploy as circular growths of hair-like material.
- Fungi cells do not differentiate and therefore fungi have no roots, stems, leaves, bark, etc.
- Fungi cell walls are made of chitin and other polysaccharides, not cellulose (Plants) or protein (Animals).
- Fungi reproduce by producing spores which are little more than a fragment of the parent fungus cell. Sexual reproduction is possible for some Fungi under certain conditions, but is infrequent. In most cases spores are produced without any cross-fertilization and, except for mutations, most spore are genetically identical to the parent cell.
- Virtually all growth occurs by elongation of hyphal tips, i.e., the organism grows by elongating threads of itself, whereas it propagates by producing spores. As a result of these and other differences, biologists created a third kingdom of living organisms, named the Fungi, in 1784.
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