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Biology LibreTexts

15.2: Introduction

  • Page ID
    29579
  • There are many groups of unrelated organisms that are referred to as ‘fungus’ or ‘mold’. Formerly, these groups were all believed to have been related, sharing the characteristics of being heterotrophic eukaryotes, generally with cell walls, usually decomposers or parasites, and often with the storage carbohydrate glycogen. These organisms were placed into groups ending with “-mycota”, meaning fungus. On closer inspection, we find that these groups differ on many important life history traits and very few of them actually belong to the true Fungi. However, if you take a mycology course, you will most likely study these unrelated organisms, as well. Similarly, fungi are still studied under the umbrella of botany as a relic of past classification, but they are more closely related to animals than they are to plants.

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