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These complex interactions of fungal species with the human host can be viewed as a spectrum of symbiotic relationships (i.e. commensal, parasitic, mutualistic. Fungal symbionts express a variety of symbiotic lifestyles including mutualism, commensalism and parasitism (Lewis, ). Mutualistic fungi. A key mechanism in the symbiosis between fungi and trees has been of symbiotic interactions between fungi and plants - relationships that.
In commensalism, one partner benefits, but there is no perceived effect on the other partner. The evolution of reciprocal parasitism. The categories given above are useful for conceptualizing the diversity of symbioses, but they oversimplify the nature of the interactions, especially mutualisms.
It is now appreciated that even in the most benign associations there is a basic conflict of interest among the partners, both of which are trying to maximize their reproductive output at the expense of the other partner.
Thus, many ecologists and evolutionary biologists now regard mutualisms and other symbioses as reciprocal parasitism. That being said, the following discussion provides examples of selected fungal symbioses, divided into the traditional if flawed categories of parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism.
Parasitism Here are some examples of fungi that act as parasites or pathogens: Animal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis chytridiomycete causes amphibian chytridiomycosis—a recently discovered disease that is implicated in the worldwide decline of amphibians.
The emergence of this outbreak may be linked to Global Warming. Among the less devastating crop plant pathogens is Ustilago maydis, a basidiomycete which is eaten as a delicasy in latin america. An ear of corn is infected with Ustilago maydis, the corn smut.
Symbiotic Relationships and Fungus Examples | The Fungal Kingdom
Fungal parasites Asterophora parasitica basidiomycete is a mushroom that grows on mushrooms. Hypomyces lactifluorum ascomycete is a parasite of fleshy mushrooms basidiomycetes. Asterophora parasitica left, click for an artistic rendering attacking a Russula mushroom and undergoing ID right attacking a bolete mushroom.
Mutualism Many fungal mutualisms are driven by the ability of the fungus to decompose organic substrates that are inaccessible to its host. Again, it is often not clear to what extent the two partners benefit experience enhanced fitnesswhich calls into question the classification of these interactions as mutualisms.
Lichens are symbioses involving fungi and unicellular algae The fungi are mostly ascomycetes, but there are also a few basidiolichens. The algae are mostly eukaryotic green algae, but there are also some cyanobacterial symbionts.
The fungi obtain carbohydrates from the algae, which are photosynthetic and contribute the green color to the lichen thallus.
Many lichens are sensitive to air pollution and are indicators of air quality. Multiclavula mucida, a lichenized basidiomycete left and Parmelia sp. Mycorrhizae have evolved repeatedly in different groups of fungi. There are two major forms of mycorrhizae: Ectomycorrhizae are formed primarily by basidiomycetes about speciesand also a few ascomycetes.
A sheath of hyphae called a mantle envelops the plant root and hyphae penetrate into the cortex. These symbioses involve mostly forest trees, including oaks, birches, willows, pines, dipterocarps, and eucalypts. Many choice edible fungi are ectomycorrhizal. Gelatinous ectomycorrhizae of Calostoma cinnabarinum left and the fruiting body right.
Corn smut, Ustilago maydis, is a prime example of fungal parasitism of corn. Fake Facebook status created with www. This fungus turns a cheery yellow ear of corn into a deformed and grey mass. These grey tumor-masses are actually kernels that have been infected by U.
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In all but central Mexico, this fungus is considered a bothersome disease, but there it is quite the culinary delicacy The American Phytopathological Society, Another example of a parasitic relationship is that of the genus Cordyceps of which there are many species and a poor insect host E. In this most unfortunate relationship a spore will land in some fashion on a fly and germinate, then stromata a visible clavate or sometimes branched structure coming out of insect body segments will form outside of the body.
These structures contain the sexual components of the fungi which will release spores when mature.True Facts : Ant Mutualism
This allows the spores to eventually be released in the most prime conditions and location for eventual germination on another unsuspecting ant.
Things are much prettier on the mutualism side of things. The concept of mycorrhizal associations between a fungal partner and a plant partner is the mutualistic symbiosis most commonly referred to when talking about fungi.
Microscope Ectomycorrhizae — http: For instance, the fungus growing around or in some cases in the roots of the plant allows for greater surface area of those roots.