Examples of early botanical works have been found in ancient texts from India dating back to before BC,   in archaic Avestan writings, and in works from China before it was unified in BC. De Materia Medica was widely read for more than 1, years. These gardens continued the practical value of earlier "physic gardens", often associated with monasteries, in which plants were cultivated for medical use. They supported the growth of botany as an academic subject.
Introduction to the Fungi In this part of the course, we will be studying the organisms that are referred to as fungi sing. Although you have now studied various groups of plants and algae, as well as other eukaryotic organisms, in other courses, you will find that the fungi are probably the least understood among the eukaryotes.
Looking back at my undergraduate career, prior to taking my first mycology class, I had a very negative concept of the fungi. My impression of fungi was that they were disease-causing organisms that were found in unsanitary conditions.
Although this impression was not entirely wrong, fungi are so much more than that. They are also very beneficial organisms. We have derived a number of useful antibiotics from them, including the "wonder drug" penicillin. Without fungi, we would not have leavened bread, Roquefort and Camembert cheeses, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages and some mushrooms, morels and truffles are considered to be delicacies Botany fungi gourmands.
While these aspects of fungi are of interest, they will not be the emphasis on our discussions of fungi. If you are interested in learning about these aspects of fungi, you may go to the Botany home page.
The emphasis here, instead, will be to study the relationships of the various groups of fungi and attempt to Botany fungi sense of their phylogeny. Classification of Fungi Once upon a time biologist only recognized two kingdoms: Plant and Animal this was how organisms were classified when I was an undergraduate.
Fungi, as well as bacteria and algae were classified in the plant kingdom under this system and that is the reason that these organisms are traditionally studied in botany. Although fungi are no longer classified as plants, there is still good reason to study them in botany.
Fungi are most often associated with plants, commonly as decomposers, and pathogens, and as their benefactors, e. Once upon a time, the fungi were also believed to be monophyletic and to be derived from an algal ancestor that lost its ability to photosynthesize.
However, over time, with the discovery of new techniques in determining relationships between organisms, it was discovered that the fungi are made up of a polyphyletic group of organisms that, in some cases, are very distantly related to one another.
Thus, organisms that we call fungi are not grouped together because they are closely related, but rather because they share a combination of characteristics that we will now go over: Characteristics of "fung" in the broad sense Achlorophyllous: Fungi cannot make their own food like plants.
They are heterotrophs and depend upon other organism for their carbon source. Heterotrophs can further be divided into the following categories: However, if the opportunity arises, some saprobes may become parasitic.
Such organisms are said to be facultative parasites. In the strict sense, this term refers to the habitual "living together" of different species. As such, there are a number of different categories of relationships that may fit under this term.
However, we will define it in its most common usage: Fungi have membrane bound organelles, i. Once upon a time filamentous bacteria called Actinomycetes were classified with fungi, but this is no longer the case. Unicellular fungi that reproduce, asexually, by budding or fission terms to be defined later.
The collective, filamentous strands that make up the fungal thallus. Strands of mycelium is referred to as hyphae sing. Mycelium may be of two types: Mycelium that is divided into discreet cells by cell walls that are laid down at regular intervals along the length of the mycelium.
These cell walls are called septa sing. Mycelium that is not divided up by septa and forms a continuous tubular network. Septa, however, are present occasionally, especially where reproductive structures occur and where the cell wall of the mycelium has been compromised.
Some species may have have thalli that are mycelium and yeast. The assimilative stage of the fungal body, i. In the strict sense organisms classified as fungi have cell walls composed primarily of chitin.
However, we will be also be covering "fungi" that do not have chitin in their cell walls. Fungi have a common nutritional mode:In this article we will discuss about the economic importance of fungi: 1. Role of Fungi in Medicine 2. Role of Fungi in Industry 3.
Role of Fungi in Agriculture 4. Role of Fungi as Food and as Food Producers. Fungi include hundreds of species which are of tremendous economic importance to man. Botany, also called plant science(s), Traditionally, botany has also included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists respectively, with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress.
Botany is the scientific study of plants. "Plants," to most people, means a wide range of living organisms from the smallest bacteria to the largest living things - the giant sequoia trees. By this definition plants include: algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants.
Today scientists believe bacteria, algae and fungi are in their own distinct kingdoms, but most general botany courses, and most Botany Departments at colleges and universities, still . Mushrooms, fungi and slime molds that grow in mulch or potted plants. Tom Volk, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, kaja-net.com Almost all of the email requests for identification I get are from people who want to know what's growing in their mulch and how to get rid of it.
This is the page for the University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Botany Instructional Resources Page.