|Oomycetes : Saprolegnia- showing hyphae
The majority of fungi are unicellular or filamentous: as fungi grow they produce an
intertwined mass of delicate threads that branch freely and often fuse together. Fungal forms
vary and the most commonly known are mushroom-like in appearance or form spongy creeping
growths. The individual, tubular threads are called hyphae, while a mass of threads is called a
mycelium. Structures like mushrooms consist of a great many filaments packed tightly together.
The surface-to-volume ratio of fungus is very high, ensuring that much of the fungus is in
intimate contact with its environment and no part is more than a few micrometres away.
Specialized hyphae, known as rhizoids, anchor some forms of fungus to the substrate. Parasitic
fungi have similar specialized hyphae known as haustoria, which function in nutrient absorption
(from the cells of other organisms) while anchoring the fungus. Fungi are nonmotile and lack flagella or cilia; dispersal
throughout the environment occurring during reproduction.
|Cortinarius violaceus, Purple Cort