MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: What is moneran mold?

Date: Sun Feb 1 11:41:31 1998
Posted By: David L. Beck, grad student, Microbiology Program,
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 885784652.Mi

Moneran mold is a slang term.

Mold by definition is fungi, fungi are Eukarotic organisms, many of which form long filementous structures that we call mold. Eukaryotic cells are like the cells in your body, the are quite large, and have many internal compartmants.

Moneran, is the possessive form of Monera. Monera is the name of the kingdom of prokaryotes. Prokaryotes are more often reffered to as bacteria. Prokaryotes are very small, some being only 1/100 th the size, or smaller than a Eukaryotic cell, and rarely do they have any internal compartments. Prokaryotes by definition can not be mold, because mold is Eukaryotic, an entirely different kingdom.

So what is moneran mold? First it isn't mold, but some bacteria can form into long filamentous structures just like the fungi do. An impotant difference is that the size, meaning width, of these structures is actually much smaller than the width of fungi. Sometimes these structures are mistakenly identified as mold, and you would have to look under a microscope to tell for sure wether the cells were prokaryotic or eukaryotic. The group of bacteria that are most often misidentified at first glance as been mold are the Streptomyces.

Generally speaking, most things that look like mold really are mold, but somtimes it is really just bacteria that have formed fruiting bodies.

Fruiting bodies, think of trees rising from the ground and producing fruit that hold seeds. This is exactly what mold and some bacteria, Streptomyces and Myxoccocus xanthus, do, they rise up forming a tree trunk like structure with a mass of cells at the top that gradually turn into spores, which are basically like seeds. That is why mold, and streptomyces looks fuzzy, there is literally thousands of these fruting bodies, trees, rising up from the mold or bacterial colony.

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