Benefits of Fungi


Benefits of Fungi

A fungus belongs to a group of organisms called eukaryotic organisms which also include microorganisms like molds, yeasts and mushrooms. Fungi are different from other kingdoms of plants, animal and bacteria. The major difference between plant cells and fungi cells is that fungi cell walls contain chitin whereas plant cell walls contain cellulose. The branch of science which deals with fungi is called as mycology.

Fungi are considered as one of the most important organisms because of the kind of benefits they offer. They are well known for providing essential nutrients for the growth of the plants. The presence of fungi in the soil ensures healthy growth and also the development of the plants. Many farmers prefer fungi to other chemical fertilizers to keep improving the environment.They are also known as the best alternatives in the tilling of the soil as they can even alter the structure of the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi which are promoted by fungi help fighting plant -related diseases giving plants higher and better yields.

Fungi fill the in and around the regions of the plant roots with sticky hyphae to protect the plants from disease spreading agents. They also release antibiotics to destroy the agents if they penetrate through hyphae.These hyphae grow into the soil and absorb essential nutrients like phosphorous and minerals which are shared with the host plant.

Fungi with antimicrobial and other biological activities can produce wide ranges of natural products which is why they are used in drug manufacturing industries. They are widely used for the production of antibiotics, anti-cancer, vitamins and cholesterol lowering drugs.

Fungi are also used in cultured foods. For example, bakers yeast used in the making of bakery items like bread and others is nothing but single celled –fungus. Special species of fungi are also used to produce alcohol through fermentation.

Certain kings of Mushrooms which are a king of fungi enjoy special place in Chinese therapeutic medicine. The most popular mushrooms that are proven for their therapeutic uses are agaricus blazei, ganoderma lucidum and cordyceps sinensis.They are also used in making of certain type of cheese to give it a special texture and unique flavor.

Fungi are also used in the production of industrial chemicals which include gluconic, citric, malic and lactic acids and also in biological detergents in the form of lipases.
Recent studies reveal that a type of fungi can be used for degrading pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, coal tars and also heavy fuels into water, carbon dioxide and other basic elements.

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