Fungi are a kingdom of eukaryotic organisms distinct from plants and animals. They include microorganisms like yeasts and molds as well as larger mushrooms. Fungi play an important role in decomposition, nutrient cycling, medicine, food production, and plant growth.
Examples of Fungi
Here are 10 examples of fungi:
1. Button Mushroom
The button mushroom is a commonly eaten mushroom. It has a white stem and brownish cap. Button mushrooms are grown commercially indoors in specially prepared compost.
2. Baker’s Yeast
Baker’s yeast is a single-celled fungus used to leaven bread. It feeds on sugars and converts them into carbon dioxide and alcohol through fermentation. Baker’s yeast causes dough to rise, creating air pockets that result in light, fluffy baked goods.
Penicillium fungi produce the antibiotic penicillin, which fights bacterial infections. There are hundreds of Penicillium mold species which often grow as fuzzy blue-green patches on old bread, fruit, or damp walls.
4. Athlete’s Foot Fungus
This fungus lives on the skin and causes itchy, peeling areas between the toes or blisters on the feet. It spreads through contact in damp public areas like gyms, pools, and showers.
Aspergillus mold species are very common and grow on decomposing plant matter, household dust, or building materials. Most don’t cause illness but some release toxins or trigger allergic reactions.
6. Sac Fungus
This wood-decay fungus has a fruiting body shaped like a tiny club protruding from rotting logs or stumps. Its common name refers to its sac-like cups where spores develop.
Candida fungi normally grow harmlessly on human skin and mucous membranes. But overgrowth causes infections like oral thrush or vaginal yeast infections, especially in immunocompromised people.
Truffles are edible fungi that develop underground near tree roots in a symbiotic relationship. They have a strong, earthy aroma and are considered a culinary delicacy.
9. Shelf Fungus
Shelf fungi grow as hard, hoof-shaped fungal plates projecting outward from the bark of dead or dying trees. They decay and consume the dead wood they grow on.
10. Meadow Mushroom
This edible gilled mushroom has pink-colored caps and grows prolifically in grassy areas, often forming fairy rings. It is the wild variant of the cultivated button mushroom.