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15.4: Kingdom Fungi - The True Fungi

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  • Though many heterotrophic decomposers and parasites are fungus-like, an organism must be in Kingdom Fungi to be considered a true fungus. In addition to genetic relationships, organisms are classified into Kingdom Fungi based on the following traits:

    • Eukaryotic
    • Heterotrophic by absorption
    • Morphology: Unicellular or a thallus composed of hyphae. If present, motile cells have only a single, whiplash flagellum (like us).
    • Cell walls: Chitin
    • Storage carbohydrate: Glycogen
    • Life cycle: Haplontic (though this one gets a bit weird)
    • Ecology: Many fungi are decomposers, primarily in terrestrial ecosystems. Other groups of fungi live in symbiosis with other organisms as parasites, mutualists, or commensalists.

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