Q:

How do mushrooms get their food?

A:

Mushrooms are the visible, above-ground extensions of a much larger underground network of fungal tissue that absorbs nutrients directly from the surrounding soil. The exterior surface of a fungus is analogous to the interior surface of an animal's stomach. It secretes digestive enzymes and absorbs the resulting chemical soup directly.

By the time a mushroom emerges above ground, the fungus has usually been feeding in place for some time. Fungi send out specialized tendrils, or hyphae, into the soil and plants around them to expose a maximum of surface area to the surrounding environment. These hyphae then secrete the necessary proteins directly onto the edible matter. These proteins then do the work of breaking down plant and animal tissues chemically until the nutrients locked away in their bodies are liberated. This leaves the food supply partially liquefied and oozing over the surface of the fungus. Exterior cells of the fungus can then directly absorb the desired nutrients without the need for a distinct digestive system. Generally, this work is only done by the nonreproductive components of a fungus. The mushroom's ultimate goal is not to eat but to release spores that can spread the fungus far and wide to begin the process anew in a different location.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How can someone kill mushrooms?

    A:

    Ways to stop mushrooms from growing in a yard include: reducing irrigation, aerating the soil, dethatching dead grass, removing pet waste, disposing of rotting mulch and removing old tree stumps. The mushroom is merely the flowering part of a fungus and picking the mushroom that sprouts from the ground is not enough to kill the mycelia beneath the soil. Mycelia are the foundation "threads" which connect mushroom spores underground and allow them to grow into full-fledged mushrooms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do plants get their nutrients?

    A:

    Plants get their nutrients from the air, water and soil. Non-mineral nutrients, such as hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, are obtained from the air and water. There are 13 mineral nutrients important to plant growth that come from the soil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you identify mushrooms?

    A:

    A person can identify wild mushrooms by examining their caps, stems, gills and spores. He can also take note of the area, condition and characteristics in which the mushrooms grow, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Before eating any wild mushroom, it is important to make a positive identification to ensure it is edible. If a 100-percent positive identification is not possible, do not eat the wild mushroom.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes yellow leaves on petunias?

    A:

    Yellow leaves on petunias are caused by a deficiency in nutrients, fungal diseases, viral diseases and aphids, which are also known as plant lice. If caught early, the damaged parts of the plants can be removed and discarded. If the plant is too diseased or infested to save, the area should be replanted with new plants and fresh soil. Preventative care is the best solution for petunias.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore