While in their vegetative state, fungi exist as filamentous structures called hyphae.
Many hyphae amassed together make up a mycelium.
Septa are internal "cross-walls" that serve as dividers, which separate hyphae into distinct cells.
Chitin is the polysaccharide that septa (cross walls in fungi) are composed of. It can be compared to cellulose that makes up the cell wall of plants. It is also the polysaccharide that makes up the exoskeleton of insects.
Most fungi are saprophytic, meaning they feed off dead organic matter. However, some fungi can be pathogenic and feed on living organisms.
Digestive enzymes are excreted from fungi, which break down their food source. They then absorb these digested nutrients.
Fungi reproduce sexually in unfavorable conditions. Two compatible hyphae can fuse together into an interconnected network, resulting in a dikaryotic organism. The nuclei will then fuse in karyogamy and result in a temporary diploid phase, after which meiosis occurs. Haploid spores may be released thereafter, from which new fungal organisms grow.
The spores released by fungi are always haploid. They can be released through mitosis during asexual reproduction, or can be released following sexual reproduction. The spore will be dispersed and form hyphae upon landing in a favorable region.
Asexual reproduction in yeast occurs via budding (cell fission), where a new cell pinches off from the parent cell.
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