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Opportunistic mycoses are fungal infections that are either common in all environments or part of the normal biota. They affect mainly individuals who have a compromised immune system. Patients in the late stages of AIDS suffer from opportunistic mycoses, such as Pneumocystis , which can be life threatening. The yeast Candida spp., which is a common member of the natural biota, can grow unchecked if the pH, the immune defenses, or the normal population of bacteria is altered, causing yeast infections of the vagina or mouth (oral thrush).

Fungi may even take on a predatory lifestyle. In soil environments that are poor in nitrogen, some fungi resort to predation of nematodes (small roundworms). Species of Arthrobotrys fungi have a number of mechanisms to trap nematodes. For example, they have constricting rings within their network of hyphae. The rings swell when the nematode touches it and closes around the body of the nematode, thus trapping it. The fungus extends specialized hyphae that can penetrate the body of the worm and slowly digest the hapless prey.

Beneficial fungi

Fungi play a crucial role in the balance of ecosystems. They colonize most habitats on Earth, preferring dark, moist conditions. They can thrive in seemingly hostile environments, such as the tundra, thanks to a most successful symbiosis with photosynthetic organisms, like lichens. Fungi are not obvious in the way that large animals or tall trees are. Yet, like bacteria, they are major decomposers of nature. With their versatile metabolism, fungi break down organic matter that is insoluble and would not be recycled otherwise.

Importance to ecosystems

Food webs would be incomplete without organisms that decompose organic matter and fungi are key participants in this process. Decomposition allows for cycling of nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus back into the environment so they are available to living things, rather than being trapped in dead organisms. Fungi are particularly important because they have evolved enzymes to break down cellulose and lignin, components of plant cell walls that few other organisms are able to digest, releasing their carbon content.

Fungi are also involved in ecologically important coevolved symbioses, both mutually beneficial and pathogenic with organisms from the other kingdoms. Mycorrhiza , a term combining the Greek roots myco meaning fungus and rhizo meaning root, refers to the association between vascular plant roots and their symbiotic fungi. Somewhere between 80–90 percent of all plant species have mycorrhizal partners. In a mycorrhizal association, the fungal mycelia use their extensive network of hyphae and large surface area in contact with the soil to channel water and minerals from the soil into the plant. In exchange, the plant supplies the products of photosynthesis to fuel the metabolism of the fungus. Ectomycorrhizae (“outside” mycorrhiza) depend on fungi enveloping the roots in a sheath (called a mantle) and a net of hyphae that extends into the roots between cells. In a second type, the Glomeromycota fungi form arbuscular mycorrhiza. In these mycorrhiza, the fungi form arbuscles, a specialized highly branched hypha, which penetrate root cells and are the sites of the metabolic exchanges between the fungus and the host plant. Orchids rely on a third type of mycorrhiza. Orchids form small seeds without much storage to sustain germination and growth. Their seeds will not germinate without a mycorrhizal partner (usually Basidiomycota). After nutrients in the seed are depleted, fungal symbionts support the growth of the orchid by providing necessary carbohydrates and minerals. Some orchids continue to be mycorrhizal throughout their lifecycle.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Good
in a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stage of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same event in botg meiosis and mitosis
Leah Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Concepts in biology (biology 1060 tri-c). OpenStax CNX. Jan 15, 2014 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11617/1.1
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