Home | | Botany | | Botany | Economic importance of Fungi : Useful and Harmful aspects of fungi

Chapter:

| Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail |

Economic importance of Fungi : Useful and Harmful aspects of fungi

Fungi are useful to mankind in many ways. These organisms play an important role in medicine, agriculture and industry. They have harmful effects also. 1.Useful aspects of fungi 2.Harmful aspects of Fungi

Economic importance of Fungi

 

Fungi are useful to mankind in many ways. These  organisms play an important role in medicine, agriculture and industry. They have harmful effects also.


Useful aspects of fungi

 

The antibiotic Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming of Britain from the fungus Penicillium notatum, which in 1940s emerged as a 'wonder drug' for the treatment of bacterial diseases. It gave another important 'niche' to fungi in the realm of biological sciences as producers of antibiotics. Many other important antibiotics are produced by moulds

 

Many fungi such as yeast, mushrooms, truffles, morels etc., are edible. Edible mushrooms contain proteins and vitamins. Certain species of Agaricus such as A. Bisporus, A. arvensis are edible. Volvariella volvacea and V. dispora are also edible mushrooms cultivated commercially.

 

Brewing and baking industries rely heavily on the uses of yeast (saccharomyces).Yeasts ferment sugar solution into alcohol and carbon-di oxide. Alcohol is used in brewing industry and CO2 in baking industry.

The ' biochemical genetics' which later developed into the fasinating 'molecular biology' was founded by studies withNeurospora crassa, a fungus which even dethroned Drosophila from the Kingdom of genetics as this fungus was especially suited for genetical analysis. Fungi like Neurospora and Aspergillus continue to be important organisms studied in genetics.

 

'Without fungi even death will be incomplete' said Pasteur. The dead cellulosic vegetation is decomposed into carbon and minerals by the saprotrophic fungi and these elements are returned to the same environment from where they were obtained. Thus fungi maintain the carbon and mineral cycles in nature.

 

 

Harmful aspects of Fungi

 

Fungi are great nuisance. They grow on every thing from jam to leather and spoil them. LSD (d- lysergic acid diethylamide) produced from the fungus ergot


Some fungal diseases

Common fungal diseases of plants           Causal organisms

                            

1.       Wilt of cotton                Fusarium  oxysporum  Ff.sp.vasinfectum

                            

2.       Tikka disease (Leaf spot) of ground nut               Cercospora personata

                            

3.       Red rot of sugarcane               Colletotrichum falcatum

                  

                  

Fungal diseases of human beings             Causal organisms

                            

1.       Ring worm (tinea)                   Epidermophyton spp.

                            

2.       Ring worm(tinea)           Trichophyton spp.

                            

3.       Candidiasis          Candida albicans

 


(Claviceps purpurea) produces hallucinations. Hence this fungus is called ' hallucinogenic fungus' and has caused greatest damage to the frustrated youth by giving an unreal, extraordinary lightness and hovering sensation.

 

The association of fungi with several plant diseases has now come to light. The devastating disease called ' late blight of potato'caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans in Ireland in the year 1845 has resulted in such a disaster that about one million people died of starvation and over 1.5 million people fled to other countries since potato was the staple food of Ireland. Since then ' Plantpathology' a new science started which deals with diseases of plants caused not only by fungi but also by bacteria, viruses etc.


Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail


Copyright © 2018-2020 BrainKart.com; All Rights Reserved. Developed by Therithal info, Chennai.