fungi

  

Definition

Simple, aerobic organisms (such as mildews, molds, mushrooms, smuts, toadstools, and yeast) which (1) unlike bacteria can grow in low moisture and low pH environments, and have their genetic material bound in a membrane, (2) unlike plants do not have roots or leaves, do not contain chlorophyll, and do not produce their own food, but obtain nourishment from dead organic matter. Out of about 70,000 species of fungi some are edible but most are poisonous to humans. Their principal commercial uses include manufacture of food and alcoholic beverages, and antibiotics such as penicillin. Plural of fungus.

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