Kingdom Fungi Characters”Biological Classification” Botany Notes Chapter 2, for Class 12-CBSE


This kingdom contains achlorophyllous, eukaryotic, heterotrophic, spore producing, thalloid organisms. The study of fungi is called mycology.

Pler Antonio Michell is considered as father of founder of mycology Mycologist H.A. de Bary is the father of mycology. The father of Indian mycology is E.J. Butler.

General Characters

1)  They are cosmopolitan and occur in air, water, soil and on animals and plants. They are mostly terrestrial. They prefer to grow in warm and humid places. They may grow on tree bark , dung, wood, bumt wood and keratinous material (e.g., hair, horns ) and are called corticolous (bark), coprophilous (cow dung), epixylic (wood), xylophilous (burnt wood) and keratinophilous (keratin) respectively.

  1. The body is haploid (n) and thalloid, i.e., not differentiated into root, stem and leaves. They are multicellular (except Yeast and Synchytrium). The fungal body is made up of thread like elongated tubular structures, called hyhae. These cris- cross with one another to form a network known as mycelium.
  2. The hypae may be aseptate and multinucleate. Such a hypha is termed coenocytic. In most of the fungi, the mycelium is septate. The septum, however, is not complete, but has a pore through which continuity of the cytoplasm of the adjoining cells is maintained. The septum may have simple central pore as in ascomycetes, but in higher fungi (class basidiomycetes), the septum is dolipore septum in which central pore possesses a barrel shaped inflation. In septate mycelium , individual cell may contain single nucleus (monokaryotic – feature of –primary mycelium ) or an intermediate phase of two nuclei (dikaryotic – feature of secondary mycelium).
  3. the cell wall of the hyphae is made up of chitin or fungi cellulose, which as a polysaccharide containing nitrogenous compound and it is basically made up of acetylglucosamine. In some fungi, the cell wall is made up of cellulose (e.g., Phytophthora, pythium and other oomycetes). Reserve food material is stored in the form of oil and glycogen
  4. Cells have unicisternal golgi bodies.
  5. Mitosis in somatic cells is Karyochorisis type (mitosis with intranuclear spindle formation )
  6. Nutrition is heterotrophic which includes saprophytes, parasites and symbionts.
  7. In most of the fungi, there are two distinct phases in the life cycle, the vegetative or assimilative phase and the reproductive phase. In vegetative phase, fungus is microscopic hidden in the substratum and is hardly visible to the naked eyes. The fungus enters into reproductive phase after attaining maturity in the vegetative phase in unicellular yeasts, the same cell performs both assimilative and reproductive functions. Such type of fungal bodies in which entire cell gets transformed into reproductive structures are known as holocarpic. Fungal body is termed eucarpic in which a part of mycelium is used in the development of reproductive structures.

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