Summary of Fungal Attributes. So What do the Set of Characteristics mean? We have gone over several working definitions for "fungi" that have been accepted in mycology over the last 50 years. Each definition, at the time that they were used was thought to include closely related organisms, i. However, as time passed, and we gathered more information about these organisms, it became apparent that this notion was not correct. So, we redefined "fungi" to reflect these changes.
The above set of characteristics is the most recent definition as to what we believe constitute a fungus. However, in mycology, we continue to study those organisms that have been demonstrated to not being closely related to fungi. Thus, in mycology we have two definition for fungi. One in which only those organisms that have the above characteristics and are closely related to one another are recognized as belonging to the fungus kingdom.
The second includes all the fungi that have been recognized as fungi since Alexopoulous' definition ini. More will be said on this subject in our lecture on "How fungi get their name and how they are classified".
Sexual reproduction is a subject that can probably be best understood if we discuss "Asexual reproduction in fungi can be accomplished by" in human terms rather than using plants or fungi. You are all aware that this type of reproduction must involve two parents, and that the children from two parents will inherit characteristics from each parent.
For example, all of you have features that can be recognized as being maternally or paternally inherited. This will also be true for any siblings that you may have. However, you and your siblings are genetically unique in appearance and personality because the Asexual reproduction in fungi can be accomplished by of sexual reproduction is such that no two individuals will be exactly alike unless they are identical twins.
Asexual reproduction requires only a single parents and the "children" produced would be genetically identical to the parent.
Genetically, identical individuals are said to be clones. Although some animals, naturally, have this type of reproduction, there are far more examples of asexual reproduction in plants. Asexual reproduction occurs when a part of an individual regenerates itself into another individual.
Since this new individual was originally part of the parent, the two are genetically identical. Many agricultural plants are reproduced asexually because if you have a plant with all the qualities that you want, growing clones of this individual will ensure that everything you are growing will also have these qualities.
Examples of such plants are illustrated in Figures. In potatoes, each "eye" can be used to produce a new potato plant, the leafy tops of the pineapple and carrot can be grown to produce other plants.
Both sexual and asexual reproduction has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, if a fungus is growing in an ideal environment that it is well suited for, it would be advantageous to reproduce asexually since the environment would also be ideal for clones of that individuals.
However, if the environment should suddenly become unfavorable and lead to the death of that fungus, having an entire population of genetically, identical individuals will be a disadvantage since all of the individuals will be equally likely to die.
In this situation, sexual reproduction will be advantageous since the individuals produced will all be genetically different. Being different, there may be one to several individuals that may be more suited for the new environment.