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Earth is believed to support more than 1.5 million fungal species, some have life span of thousands of years!

(above removing fungus from pool deck by pressure washing)

 

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The Most Common Question is : What Is That On The Wall, Roof, Deck?

Any of numerous eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Fungi, which lack chlorophyll and vascular tissue and range in form from a single cell to a body mass of branched filamentous hyphae that often produce specialized fruiting bodies. The kingdom includes the yeasts, molds, smuts, and mushrooms.

fun·gus
n., pl. fun·gi or fun·gus·es.

Fungus is the third kingdom of this world, living, yet neither plant or animal.

Fungi can be divided in three groups: symbiotic, mycorrhiza, and saprophytic.         (saprophytic is the fungus most common on roofs) It is absolutely an essential part of our ecosystem, while some species are responsible for serious diseases in plants and animals without it the entire planet would die! Fungus is a global stucture, so when you remove the fungus from your buildings, even if you think you killed it. all you really did is scrape a few cells off of this global structure. from our perspective we don't notice it as much growing on the bark of a tree or in the soil as we do on a freshly painted wall or roof.

Fungi are a group of organisms that exist as a vast network of tiny threads growing in and out of all kinds of organic matter. As they grow, the threads secrete enzymes that break down the substances around them, releasing nutrients into the environment. Without fungi, the world would be completely covered with organic debris that would not rot, and nutrients would not be available for plant growth. All plants would die.
 
The invisible fungal structure may be extremely large, often extending for miles as, for example, the occurring in the north-central United States . weighs roughly 11 tons and occupies over 37 acres.  Scientists have determined this fungus is more than 1500 years old, it is one of the oldest and largest organisms on earth, and its mostly underground, so don't plan your vacations around it.

 

Basic Introduction

 

There are few species of fungi relative to other organisms. However, fungi are everywhere and can utilize just about any material for food such as your house. One reason that they seem to occur everywhere is that they produce large number of spores that often can be dispersed long distances. Moreover, fungus spores also have other attributes that ensure the survival of fungi. Spores are often less susceptible to adverse environmental conditions than the mycelium or yeast cells  and germination of spores oftentimes will not occur until environmental conditions are optimal for their survival.

mold   

also spelled mould, in biology, a conspicuous mass of mycelium (masses of vegetative filaments, or hyphae) and fruiting structures produced by various fungi (division Mycota).Fungi of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Rhizopus form mold and are associated with food spoilage and plant diseases.

mildew

a conspicuous mass of threadlike hyphae and fruiting structures produced by various fungi (division Mycota). It is associated with cloth, fibres, leather goods, and plant diseases (downy mildew and powdery mildew). The fungi use these substances as sources of food for growth and reproduction.

 

downy mildew

disease of plants, especially in cool humid regions, caused by several fungi, including species of Basidiophora, Bremia, Peronospora, Phytophthora, Plasmopara, Pseudoperonospora, and Sclerospora. White, gray, bluish, or violet downy patches of mildew form mostly on the undersides of leaves in damp weather. Pale-green to yellow or brown areas usually develop on the upper leaf surface opposite the downy growth. Affected leaves often wilt, wither, and die early. Stems, flowers, and fruits are sometimes infected. Seedlings may wilt and collapse. Garden plants, bush fruits, vegetables, and certain trees, shrubs, field crops, and weeds are susceptible.

 

Slime molds

Long classified together in the Myxomycophyta as part of the Fungi,

Slime "molds" are now known to be quite unrelated to the fungi. There are three main groups of slime molds, which do not form a clad.

Plasmodial slime molds, are basically enormous single cells with thousands of nuclei. They are formed when individual flagellated cells swarm together and fuse. The result is one large bag of cytoplasm with many diploid nuclei. These "giant cells" have been extremely useful in studies of cytoplasmic streaming (the movement of cell contents) because it is possible to see this happening even under relatively low magnification. In addition, the large size of the slime mold "cell" makes them easier to manipulate than most cells.

A second group, the cellular slime molds, spend most of their lives as separate single-celled amoeboid protists, but upon the release of a chemical signal, the individual cells aggregate into a great swarm. Cellular slime molds are thus of great interest to cell and developmental biologists, because they provide a comparatively simple and easily manipulated system for understanding how cells interact to generate a multi cellular organism. There are two groups of cellular slime molds, the Dictyostelida and the Acrasida, which may not be closely related to each other.

A third group, the Labyrinthulomycota  or slime nets, are also called "slime molds", but appear to be more closely related to the Chromista, and not relatives of the other "slime mold" groups.

What these three groups have in common is a life cycle that superficially resembles that of the fungi. When conditions become unfavorable, these slime molds form sporangia - clusters of spores, often on the tips of stalks. Spores from the sporangia are dispersed to new habitats, "germinate" into small amoebae, and the life cycle begins again. Similarities in the life cycle do not, imply a close relationship, certain bacteria (the myxobacteria) and even an unusual ciliate have very similar life cycles, aggregating to form spores on a sporangium.

Slime molds have almost no fossil record. Not only do slime molds produce few resistant structures (except for spores, which are often overlooked or unidentifiable, but they live in moist terrestrial habitats, such as on decaying wood or fresh cow dung, where their potential for preservation is low. Some fossil slime molds have been found in amber

 

Lichens

 

Lichens are unusual creatures. A lichen is not a single organism the way most other living things are, but rather it is a combination of two organisms which live together intimately. Most of the lichen is composed of fungal filaments, but living among the filaments are algal cells, usually from a green alga or a cyanobacterium.

In many cases the fungus and the alga which together make the lichen may each be found living in nature without its partner, but many other lichens include a fungus which cannot survive on its own -- it has become dependent on its algal partner for survival. In all cases though, the appearance of the fungus in the lichen is quite different from its morphology as a separately growing individual.

rusts / smuts

  • Division: Basidiomycota

    This group of about 16,000 species, known as the club fungi, includes the most familiar fungi: mushrooms, toadstools, stinkhorns, puffballs, and shelf fungi. Division Basidiomycota also includes two groups of important plant pests- rusts and smuts. Several of these parasites affect agricultural crops, particularly cereals and grains.

  • Botany.
    1. Rust fungus.
    2. A plant disease caused by a rust fungus, characterized by reddish or brownish spots on leaves, stems, and other parts.
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    dangers

    Fungi also cause a number of plant and animal diseases: in humans, ringworm, athlete's foot, and several more serious diseases are caused by fungi. Because fungi are more chemically and genetically similar to animals than other organisms, this makes fungal diseases very difficult to treat. Plant diseases caused by fungi include rusts, smuts, and leaf, root, and stem rots, and may cause severe damage to crops. However, a number of fungi, in particular the yeasts, are important "model organisms" for studying problems in genetics and molecular biology.

    Because of the rarity of the few fungal pathogens that can infect people, the general public has little knowledge of these sometimes fatal diseases, and it is something with which they should be aware.

    The diseases of warm-blooded animals caused by fungi are known as mycoses (sing.=mycosis). Although such diseases are relatively few, the fungi that cause them have a wide host as well as geographical range. Most of these diseases are not fatal, but once contracted, they may forever be a source of constant irritation and can lead to permanent scaring,

     

    Can cleaning up mold be hazardous to my health?

    Yes. Mold spore counts are more than a 1000 times higher than background levels during the cleaning of moldy materials.

    • If cleaning indoors, use a mask or respirator to protect you from breathing airborne spores.
    • Wear protective safety gear & clothing that is easily cleaned or discarded.
    • Ask bystanders to leave areas when being cleaned.
    • Wash hands and face

     

    sources and additional information:

    Fungi as Human Pathogens / Fungus Infections / health - mold / Introduction to the Fungi Michigan Fungus Collection (MICH) / Talking rot...and mildew / Forest Fungi of New Zealand /Berkeley.edu/humongous fungus another really big fungus presently

     

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    I have been working on this page for a long time, Just cant get it to read right, some of my resources are conflicting, and all the names are difficult

    You may think I'm crazy but once I saw a fungi moving, maybe it was trying to get out of way of pressure cleaner or chemical reaction regardless of reason it was on the move.

     

     

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