Q:

What are examples of parasitic fungi?

A:

One example of a parasitic fungus is Ceratocystis fagacearum, a fungus that causes the disease oak wilt, which quickly kills healthy oak trees. Fungi in the genera Alternaria and Cladosporium are also parasitic, taking up residence in wheat and other grain plants and causing blackpoint disease.

Know More

Full Answer

A parasite is an organism that lives on or in another organism, known as that parasite's host. The parasite gains nourishment from the host, but the host is either harmed by the parasite's presence or unaffected by it. There are parasitic plants, animals and fungi.

The parasitic fungus that causes oak wilt is spread from tree to tree via insects, which carry the fungal spores on their legs. Oak wilt is a serious problem in many forests and urban areas, since it spreads easily and almost always leads to defoliation and tree death within several years. Symptoms of oak wilt include the formation of large spore mats on the tree's trunk and rapid loss of discolored leaves.

Blackpoint disease can be caused by a number of parasitic fungal species. It causes black smudges to appear on the heads of wheat and other grains. Blackpoint disease occurs most often in fields that are overly moist and when levels of humidity are high.

Learn more in Botany

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are fungi and plants similar?

    A:

    Plants and fungi are both eukaryotic organisms whose cells are buffered by cellulose walls. Like plants, some fungi can be used as food and medicine, and they are alike in their relative lack of mobility.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are fungi important?

    A:

    Fungi are key to the ecosystem because they act as major decomposers, plant symbiotes and parasites. Decomposing fungi are extremely well-adapted to breaking down plant tissues, particularly wood, and return large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere by doing so. They are thus major parts of the carbon cycle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are examples of flatworms?

    A:

    According to Encyclopædia Britannica, flatworms are mostly parasitic, soft-bodied invertebrates that include tape worms, flukes and planarians. Lacking circulatory, respiratory and skeletal systems, flatworms feature unsegmented bodies and spongy connective tissue that provide structure and fill the spaces between organs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats fungi?

    A:

    Certain groups of organisms known as fungivores feed almost entirely on fungi, while other groups known as omnivores consume it in addition to other types of food. Many different types of animals, including mammals, molluscs, insects and birds feed on fungi.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore