Monday, March 17, 2008



Fungi are no longer considered to be plants, though they were previously included in the plant kingdom. Unlike embryophytes and algae, fungi are not photosynthetic, but are saprotrophs: obtaining food by breaking down and absorbing surrounding materials.
Fungi are not plants, but were historically treated as closely related to plants, and were considered to be in the purview of botanists. It has long been recognized that fungi are evolutionarily closer to animals than to plants, but they still are covered more in depth in introductory botany courses and are not necessarily touched upon in introductory zoology courses. Most fungi are formed by microscopic structures called hyphae, which may or may not be divided into cells but contain eukaryotic nuclei. Fruiting bodies, of which mushrooms are most familiar, are the reproductive structures of fungi. They are not related to any of the photosynthetic groups, but are close relatives of animals. Therefore, the fungi are in a kingdom of their own.

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