, Many other mushroom species are harvested from the wild for personal consumption or commercial sale. Fungi are also used as biological pesticides to control weeds, plant diseases and insect pests. The fruiting structures of a few species contain psychotropic compounds and are consumed recreationally or in traditional spiritual ceremonies.  Other drugs produced by fungi include griseofulvin isolated from Penicillium griseofulvum, used to treat fungal infections, and statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors), used to inhibit cholesterol synthesis. , The organisms which parasitize fungi are known as mycoparasitic organisms. As decomposers, they play an essential role in nutrient cycling, especially as saprotrophs and symbionts, degrading organic matter to inorganic molecules, which can then re-enter anabolic metabolic pathways in plants or other organisms.  Examples that have been used as biological insecticides are Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium spp, Hirsutella spp, Paecilomyces (Isaria) spp, and Lecanicillium lecanii. Fungi are important as foods and to the fermentation process in the development of substances of industrial and medical importance, including alcohol, the antibiotics, other drugs, and foods. , In agriculture, fungi may be useful if they actively compete for nutrients and space with pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria or other fungi via the competitive exclusion principle, or if they are parasites of these pathogens. Spores are the main reproductive units for fungi and are usually single cells. Ellobiopsis, now in Alveolata, was considered a chytrid. , Cryptococcus neoformans is an encapsulated yeast that can live in both plants and animals. Sexual reproduction in basidiomycetes is similar to that of the ascomycetes. All known Glomeromycota species reproduce asexually.  Fungi produce several secondary metabolites that are similar or identical in structure to those made by plants.  The "Fungi imperfecti" (fungi lacking the perfect or sexual stage) or Deuteromycota comprise all the species that lack an observable sexual cycle. ", "Poisoning due to raw Gyromitra esculenta (false morels) west of the Rockies", "Setting the Stage To Screen Biocontrol Fungi", "Whey-based fungal microfactory technology for enhanced biological pest management using fungi", "Bioprotective Alkaloids of Grass-Fungal Endophyte Symbioses", "Reinfection of Tall Fescue Cultivars with Non-Ergot Alkaloid–Producing Endophytes", "Genetic Control of Biochemical Reactions in Neurospora", "The genome sequence of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea", "Food-processing enzymes from recombinant microorganisms--a review", Entangle Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, & Shape Our Futures, Archaeal Richmond Mine acidophilic nanoorganisms, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fungus&oldid=990193921, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The cells of most fungi grow as tubular, elongated, and thread-like (filamentous) structures called.  The evolutionary adaptation from an aquatic to a terrestrial lifestyle necessitated a diversification of ecological strategies for obtaining nutrients, including parasitism, saprobism, and the development of mutualistic relationships such as mycorrhiza and lichenization.  Hyphae also sometimes fuse when they come into contact, a process called hyphal fusion (or anastomosis). Karyogamy in the asci is followed immediately by meiosis and the production of ascospores. Growth is their means of mobility, except for spores (a few of which are flagellated), which may travel through the air or water. Fungal fossils do not become common and uncontroversial until the early Devonian (416–359.2 Ma), when they occur abundantly in the Rhynie chert, mostly as Zygomycota and Chytridiomycota. , Many fungi produce biologically active compounds, several of which are toxic to animals or plants and are therefore called mycotoxins. Examples of statins found in fungi include mevastatin from Penicillium citrinum and lovastatin from Aspergillus terreus and the oyster mushroom.  The larvae of many families of fungicolous flies, particularly those within the superfamily Sciaroidea such as the Mycetophilidae and some Keroplatidae feed on fungal fruiting bodies and sterile mycorrhizae.  The fungal partners may also mediate plant-to-plant transfer of carbohydrates and other nutrients. Genera with mushrooms containing deadly toxins include Conocybe, Galerina, Lepiota, and, the most infamous, Amanita. Fungi can also become the target of infection by mycoviruses.  Deuteromycota is not an accepted taxonomic clade, and is now taken to mean simply fungi that lack a known sexual stage. , Many insects also engage in mutualistic relationships with fungi. , Phylogenetic analysis has demonstrated that the Microsporidia, unicellular parasites of animals and protists, are fairly recent and highly derived endobiotic fungi (living within the tissue of another species).  Thanks to this nutritional enrichment the larvae of woodboring insect is able to grow and develop to adulthood. Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail.  They deliver nutrients needed by xylophages to nutritionally scarce dead wood.  Hibbett and colleagues suggest that this analysis does not clash with their classification of the Fungi, and although the Microsporidia are elevated to phylum status, it is acknowledged that further analysis is required to clarify evolutionary relationships within this group. To overcome this limitation, some fungi, such as Armillaria, form rhizomorphs, which resemble and perform functions similar to the roots of plants. , Some time after the Permian–Triassic extinction event (251.4 Ma), a fungal spike (originally thought to be an extraordinary abundance of fungal spores in sediments) formed, suggesting that fungi were the dominant life form at this time, representing nearly 100% of the available fossil record for this period. , Several pivotal discoveries in biology were made by researchers using fungi as model organisms, that is, fungi that grow and sexually reproduce rapidly in the laboratory. In addition, fungi are clearly distinguished from all other living organisms, including animals, by their principal modes of vegetative growth and nutrient intake. In homothallic sexual reproduction, two haploid nuclei derived from the same individual fuse to form a zygote that can then undergo meiosis. , The human use of fungi for food preparation or preservation and other purposes is extensive and has a long history. , Many species have developed specialized hyphal structures for nutrient uptake from living hosts; examples include haustoria in plant-parasitic species of most fungal phyla, and arbuscules of several mycorrhizal fungi, which penetrate into the host cells to consume nutrients. Many ascomycete species have only been observed undergoing asexual reproduction (called anamorphic species), but analysis of molecular data has often been able to identify their closest teleomorphs in the Ascomycota.