The Kingdom Fungi

This kingdom consists of organisms with cell walls made of chitin. Fungi (except for yeasts) are multicelled but their cell walls are usually incompletely formed. Most fungi obtain nutrients by absorbing dead organic matter.

Division Zygomycota

Molds. Many live on decaying vegetation; some parasites. Example: black bread mold.

Division Ascomycota

Molds, morels, truffles, and yeasts. Form a reproductive structure called an ascus. Some parasitic. Example: brewer's yeast; ergot; powdery mildews.

Division Basidiomycota

Mushrooms, rusts, and smuts. Form a clublike reproductive structure called a basidium. Some parasitic. Example: common mushroom; stem rust.

Division Deuteromycota, or Fungi Imperfecti

Molds and yeasts. Lack structure for sexual reproduction. Many parasitic. One genus is the source of the antibiotic penicillin. Examples: athlete's foot fungus, damping-off fungus.

Division Mycophycophyta

Lichens. Symbiotic partnership between fungi and chlorophytes (green algae) or between fungi and cyanophytes (blue-green algae).