Facts about Fungi (also including Molds)
· Nature's recyclers, decomposers of our bio-wastes -- most fungi, and most actinomycetes, as well as some bacteria are cleansing our environment!
· Life savers -- antibiotics: produced by fungi, mostly Hyphomycetes, such as Penicillin, Neosporin, Cephalosporin, etc. are all derived from Hyphomycetes;
· Human life's ambrosia -- wine: fermented and produced by the baker's yeast, Sacchromyces cerevisiae, which had a history as old as the human civilization itself. Interestingly wine brewery (yeast fermentation) was independently invented by many old civilizations, such as the Egyptians, the Sumerians and the Chinese thousands of years ago.
· Mother Nature's delicacies -- morels (ascomycetous mushroom), truffles (underground basidiomycetous tube), mushrooms (mostly basidiomycetes, a few Ascomycetes), but excluding yuck- poisonous toadstools (basidiomycetes)!
· Ecstasy of religiosity and heavenly experiences â€” Hallucinogenic fungi, such as one famous death cap Amanita muscaria, American Indian ritual mushroom Psilocybe mexicana, Panaeolus sphinctrinus.
· The pet peeves of our skin -- dermatophytes, athlete's foot, caused by some fungi, such as Microsporium sp., Trichophyton sp., and Epidermophyton sp., etc;
· Nature's evil witch -- poison and deadly killers, such as the Death-cap Amanita phalloides, A. verna, A. pantherina, Lepiota sp. etc., a single mushroom could kill a family of a few. Beware of those mushrooms with ring in the middle of their stalk and with foot at the bottom! Lepiota is also very common in Southern USA in summer.
· Opportunistic pathogens of human as well as animals, such as filamentous mold Aspergillus fumigatus, mold Coccidiodes immitis (agent of Valley Fever), yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, yeast Candida albicans, etc;
· Researchers -- model organisms, such as the baker's yeast Sacchromyces cerevisiae, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, classic ascomycete Neurospora crassa, basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune.
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