MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: I would like to know how a mushroom develops from fungis?

Date: Mon Dec 31 11:24:57 2001
Posted By: Michael Curtis, MSES, President, CERL Environmental Consultants
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1008635409.Gb

I'm sorry for taking so long to answer your questions, but I've been out 
for the holidays.  The organisms you are refering to are part of the 
kingdow of fungi known as Basidiomycetes (macrofungi).  A mushroom is the 
fruiting body of the mycelia (microscopic root or hair like structures) 
that grows in the soil or other organic material.  Each species of 
these fungi has different envirionmental conditions that must be present 
for mushrooms to form.  Some will form after a rain, some only form at 
night, etc. etc. etc.  None utilize photosynthesis as all fungi are 

When the environmental conditions are right for a particular species, the 
large spore forming (fruiting) body is formed from the mycelia and we see 
what is commonly refered to as a mushroom. 

A more detailed description of how or why fungi form mushrooms is fairly 
complex and somewhat beyond my ability to respond here.  The best 
references available for a more detailed answer to your question are:

     When you get to this site select browse "The Fifth Kingdom".  This is
     an excellent easy to understand interactive text book on fungi 
     (including mushrooms). You can go directly to Chapter 5 (but I would 
     recommend starting with Chapter 1 and working your way through - there 
     are several terms you may need in Chapter 5 to really understand the

The second reference is in book form:

    'Encyclopaedia of Fungi'
    Gerrit J. Keizer
    1996 Rebo Productions, Lisse, the Netherlands
    ISBN 1 901094 219

Nicole;  The world of fungi is a complex and wonderful group of organisms 
that are all around us all the time - and absolutely part of life here on 
earth.  I truly hope you take the time to study and understand their role 
in the web of life.

If you need additional references, help or have other questions, please 
contact me again.

Mike Curtis

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