The Fungi Portal

APA ESTADUAL DA ESCARPA DEVONIANA RICARDO BECKERT TREVISAN (01) 01.jpg

A fungus is any member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. The Fungi are classified as a kingdom that is separate from plants and animals. The discipline of biology devoted to the study of fungi is known as mycology, which is often regarded as a branch of botany, even though genetic studies have shown that fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants. Fungi reproduce via spores, which are often produced on specialized structures or in fruiting bodies, such as the head of a mushroom. Abundant worldwide, most fungi are inconspicuous to the naked eye because of the small size of their structures, and their cryptic lifestyles in soil, on dead matter, and as symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange. They have long been used as a direct source of food, such as mushrooms and truffles, as a leavening agent for bread, and in fermentation of various food products, such as wine, beer, and soy sauce.

Since the 1940s, fungi have been used for the production of antibiotics, and, more recently, various enzymes produced by fungi are used industrially and in detergents. Fungi are also used as biological agents to control weeds and pests. Many species produce bioactive compounds called mycotoxins, such as alkaloids and polyketides, that are toxic to animals including humans. The fruiting structures of a few species are consumed recreationally or in traditional ceremonies as a source of psychotropic compounds. Fungi can break down manufactured materials and buildings, and become significant pathogens of humans and other animals. Losses of crops due to fungal diseases or food spoilage can have a large impact on human food supplies and local economies. Despite their importance on human affairs, little is known of the true biodiversity of Kingdom Fungi, which has been estimated at around 1.5 million species, with about 5% of these having been formally classified.

More about fungi...
View new selections below (purge)

Selected article

Suillus brevipes
Suillus brevipes is a species of fungus in the family Boletaceae. First described by American mycologists in the late 1800s, it is commonly known as the stubby-stalk or the short-stemmed slippery Jack. The fruit bodies (mushrooms) produced by the fungus are characterized by a chocolate to reddish-brown cap covered with a sticky layer of slime, and a short whitish stem that does not have a partial veil. The cap can reach a diameter of about 10 cm (3.9 in), while the stem is up to 6 cm (2.4 in) long and 2 cm (0.8 in) thick. Like other bolete mushrooms, S. brevipes produces spores in a vertically arranged layer of spongy tubes with openings that form a layer of small yellowish pores on the underside of the cap.

Suillus brevipes grows in a mycorrhizal association with various species of coniferous trees, especially lodgepole and ponderosa pine. The fungus is found throughout North America, and has been introduced to several other countries via transplanted pines. In the succession of mycorrhizal fungi associated with the regrowth of jack pine after clearcutting or wildfires, S. brevipes is a multi-stage fungus, found during all stages of tree development. The mushrooms are edible, and are high in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid.

Selected species

Amanita daucipes 18186.jpg
Amanita daucipes is a species of fungus in the mushroom family Amanitaceae of the order Agaricales. Found exclusively in North America, the mushroom may be recognized in the field by the medium to large white caps with pale orange tints, and the dense covering of pale orange or reddish-brown powdery conical warts on the cap surface. The mushroom also has a characteristic large bulb at the base of its stem with a blunt short rooting base, whose shape is suggestive of the common names carrot-footed lepidella, carrot-foot amanita, or turnip-foot amanita. The mushroom has a strong odor that has been described variously as "sweet and nauseous", or compared to an old ham bone, or soap. Edibility is unknown for the species, but consumption is generally not recommended due its position in the Amanita subgroup Lepidella, which contains some poisonous members.

Things to do

If you want to help Wikipedia to improve its coverage of fungi, here are some things you can do...

WikiProjects

Karl Johanssvamp, Iduns kokbok.png

WikiProjects related to fungi:

What are WikiProjects?

Selected picture

Hypholoma fasciculare LC0091.jpg
Credit: Jörg Hempel
A clump of Hypholoma fasciculare, a common woodland mushroom.

Did you know?

General images - show new batch

The following are images from various fungi-related articles on Wikipedia.

Related portals

Topics

Categories

Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories
Select [►] to view subcategories
Select [►] to view subcategories

Wikimedia

Fungi on Wiktionary     Fungi on Wikimedia Commons     Fungi on Wikispecies     Definitions Images & Media Species directory

Sources

Discover Wikipedia using portals