Q:

How do fungi grow?

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Quick Answer

Fungi grow by adding hyphae cells to their tips, and reach heights of various proportions. Most fungi reproduce using the process of asexual reproduction, and despite growing to different lengths and widths, grow in the same general process. Fungi begin their lives as tiny spores, which then bud, enabling young fungi to rapidly add hyphae, or tiny stalks, to their tips.

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Full Answer

Hyphae are small hairs; the smallest do not exceed several microns in diameter. Despite being small, however, hyphae can be quite strong. They may pierce the soft membranes of animal cells, as well as the tough and woody walls of plant cells and insect cells. Most fungi reproduce asexually, although a few species reproduce sexually. In addition to making their own reproductive cells, some fungi have the ability to generate hyphae. Upon self-reproduction or the merging of male and female cells from two plants, small cells are generated, which house tiny fungi. These cells sprout, or bud, when the enclosed seedlings are fully developed. Upon dispersal from parent spore caps, spores blow on the wind or fall to the ground, where they quickly begin adding hyphae. If conditions are ideal, fungi begin growing right away, but if nutrients are non-existent, offspring remain in dormant states until conditions improve.

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