one day i woke up a micro organism i didnt know how made im a phytoplankton

Phytoplankton: Plants of the Sea by Prentice K. Stout
P637 To the casual observer, the oceans and bays are vast trackless bodies of water. Beneath their surfaces are countless fish. But more numerous by far are the tiny microscopic animals and plants collectively called plankton, a word derived from the Greek meaning wandering. The plant portion of this complex oceanic soup is called phytoplankton. The term phyto comes from the Latin phyton meaning tree or plant. This large grouping is composed mostly of single-celled algae and bacteria. It is known that green plants liberate oxygen and produce carbohydrates, a basic link in the food chain of plants to animals to people. Collectively, this chemical process is referred to as photosynthesis (photo = light, synthesis = to make). In these tiny food factories, there is a chemical compound called chlorophyll that, in combination with sunlight, converts carbon dioxide, water, and minerals into edible carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Thus, these phytoplankton are the basis for the oceanic food chain. Animals cannot perform this biological food-making process. Two-thirds of all the photosynthesis that takes place on this earth occurs in the oceans that yearly create 80 to 160 billion tons of carbohydrates. So numerous are these tiny plant forms that they often turn the water green, brown, or reddish. Among the most abundant phytoplankton are the diatoms. Some 20,000 species make up this plant group. They consist of a tiny blob of protoplasm enclosed in a transparent pill-box structure made of silica. This silica, the main ingredient of glass, is extracted from the surrounding seawater. Minute holes or pores in their shells permit nutrient absorption and an exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen to take place with the surrounding seawater. Under favorable conditions, a single diatom can reproduce 100 million offspring in a month. Clearly, such reproductive capacity creates vast numbers - as many as a billion of them in a gallon of seawater. Those that are not eaten die and their virtually indestructible shells settle to the bottom of the ocean. In some areas of the sea, their skeletal remains form layers up to 700-feet thick. This diatomaceous earth has been used as a fine abrasive in toothpaste and automobile polish. A drop of oil within the protoplasm in the shell may have created the earth's petroleum supply. This oil in the diatom is eaten by a number of small fish; one is called the capelin, which, in turn, are eaten by codfish. From the codfish bodies come cod liver oil detested by some, but rich in vitamins A and D. While diatoms are essentially cool water inhabitants, their counterparts in tropical waters are called dinoflagellates. Equipped with whip-like projections, they propel themselves about in a jerky motion. Dr. C.P. Idyll, noted oceanographer, states, "The various species of dinoflagellates resemble chinese hats, carnival masks, children's tops, urns, pots, and vessels of many kinds, the spiky knobs of medieval war clubs, balloons on strings, hand grenades or lances." Flagellates, like diatoms, are proficient in their ability to reproduce. By splitting in half, a dinoflagellate can reproduce thirty-three million offspring in only twenty-five divisions. One species of dinoflagellate, Gonyaulax, whose excessive reproductive ability can create havoc, produces the "red tide." In the seventh chapter of the Book of Exodus, the people of Egypt were plagued with what could have been an outbreak of the red tide. Charles Darwin, on his around the world voyage on the Beagle, wrote one of the first scientific accounts of a dinoflagellate outbreak that discolored the waters off Chile. Another interesting dinoflagellate, if disturbed, emits light in the form of bioluminescence. Called Noctiluca, this small organism combines two chemicals, luciferin and luciferase (Latin: lucifer = "bearer of light"). This is the same combination of chemicals that gives our familiar firefly its ability to blink during warm summer evenings. A simple tool can be used to study these plant forms. One needs a coat hanger that has been worked into a circle. Then over this frame stretch a pair of discarded pantyhose. Cut off the legs of these stockings just below the knee and place a small plastic pill jar in the openings. Tightly wind some thread around the fabric and the mouth of the jars and then tow it through the water. The fine mesh stocking of the pantyhose will capture may of these small plant forms as well as their animal counterparts. (See fact sheet on zooplankton.) A hand lens or microscope will assist in the viewing of these fascinating organisms. orafungi Fungi Eumycota: mushrooms, sac fungi, yeast, molds, rusts, smuts, etc. Meredith Blackwell, Rytas Vilgalys, Timothy Y. James, and John W. Taylor

Phylogeny modified from James et al., 2006a, 2006b; Liu et al., 2006; Seif et al., 2005; Steenkamp et al., 2006.

Containing group: Eukaryotes

Introduction The organisms of the fungal lineage include mushrooms, rusts, smuts, puffballs, truffles, morels, molds, and yeasts, as well as many less well-known organisms (Alexopoulos et al., 1996). More than 70,000 species of fungi have been described; however, some estimates of total numbers suggest that 1.5 million species may exist (Hawksworth, 1991; Hawksworth et al., 1995). As the sister group of animals and part of the eukaryotic crown group that radiated about a billion years ago, the fungi constitute an independent group equal in rank to that of plants and animals. They share with animals the ability to export hydrolytic enzymes that break down biopolymers, which can be absorbed for nutrition. Rather than requiring a stomach to accomplish digestion, fungi live in their own food supply and simply grow into new food as the local environment becomes nutrient depleted. Most biologists have seen dense filamentous fungal colonies growing on rich nutrient agar plates, but in nature the filaments can be much longer and the colonies less dense. When one of the filaments contacts a food supply, the entire colony mobilizes and reallocates resources to exploit the new food. Should all food become depleted, sporulation is triggered. Although the fungal filaments and spores are microscopic, the colony can be very large with individuals of some species rivaling the mass of the largest animals or plants.

Figure 1: Hyphae of a wood-decaying fungus found growing on the underside of a fallen log. The metabolically active hyphae have secreted droplets on their surfaces. Copyright © M. Blackwell 1996.

Prior to mating in sexual reproduction, individual fungi communicate with other individuals chemically via pheromones. In every phylum at least one pheromone has been characterized, and they range from sesquiterpines and derivatives of the carotenoid pathway in chytridiomycetes and zygomycetes to oligopeptides in ascomycetes and basidiomycetes. Within their varied natural habitats fungi usually are the primary decomposer organisms present. Many species are free-living saprobes (users of carbon fixed by other organisms) in woody substrates, soils, leaf litter, dead animals, and animal exudates. The large cavities eaten out of living trees by wood-decaying fungi provide nest holes for a variety of animals, and extinction of the ivory billed woodpecker was due in large part to loss, through human activity, of nesting trees in bottom land hardwoods. In some low nitrogen environments several independent groups of fungi have adaptations such as nooses and sticky knobs with which to trap and degrade nematodes and other small animals. A number of references on fungal ecology are available (Carroll and Wicklow, 1992; Cooke and Whipps, 1993; Dix and Webster, 1995). However, many other fungi are biotrophs, and in this role a number of successful groups form symbiotic associations with plants (including algae), animals (especially arthropods), and prokaryotes. Examples are lichens, mycorrhizae, and leaf and stem endophytes. Although lichens may seem infrequent in polluted cities, they can form the dominant vegetation in nordic environments, and there is a better than 80% chance that any plant you find is mycorrhizal. Leaf and stem endophytes are a more recent discovery, and some of these fungi can protect the plants they inhabit from herbivory and even influence flowering and other aspects of plant reproductive biology. Fungi are our most important plant pathogens, and include rusts, smuts, and many ascomycetes such as the agents of Dutch elm disease and chestnut blight. Among the other well known associations are fungal parasites of animals. Humans, for example, may succumb to diseases caused by Pneumocystis (a type of pneumonia that affects individuals with supressed immune systems), Coccidioides (valley fever), Ajellomyces (blastomycosis and histoplasmosis), and Cryptococcus (cryptococcosis) (Kwon-Chung and Bennett, 1992).

Figure 2: The fluffy white hyphae of the mycorrhizal fungus Rhizopogon rubescens has enveloped the smaller roots of a Virginia pine seedling. Note that some of the mycelium extends out into the surrounding environment. Copyright © J. B. Anderson 1996.

Figure 3: Entomophthora, "destroyer of insects", is the agent of a fungual infection that kills flies. After their death the fungal growth erupts through the fly cuticle, and dispersal by forcible spore discharge is a source of inoculum for infection of new flies. Copyright © G. L. Barron 1996.

Fungal spores may be actively or passively released for dispersal by several effective methods. The air we breathe is filled with spores of species that are air dispersed. These usually are species that produce large numbers of spores, and examples include many species pathogenic on agricultural crops and trees. Other species are adapted for dispersal within or on the surfaces of animals (particularly arthropods). Some fungi are rain splash or flowing water dispersed. In a few cases the forcible release of spores is sufficient to serve as the dispersal method as well. The function of some spores is not primarily for dispersal, but to allow the organisms to survive as resistant cells during periods when the conditions of the environment are not conducive to growth. Fungi are vital for their ecosystem functions, some of which we have reviewed in the previous paragraphs. In addition a number of fungi are used in the processing and flavoring of foods (baker's and brewer's yeasts, Penicillia in cheese-making) and in production of antibiotics and organic acids. Other fungi produce secondary metabolites such as aflatoxins that may be potent toxins and carcinogens in food of birds, fish, humans, and other mammals. A few species are studied as model organisms that can be used to gain knowledge of basic processes such as genetics, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology with results that are applicable to many organisms (Taylor et al., 1993). Some of the fungi that have been intensively studied in this way include Saccharomyces cereviseae, Neurospora crassa, and Ustilago maydis. Most phyla appear to be terrestrial in origin, although all major groups have invaded marine and freshwater habitats. An exception to this generality is the flagellum-bearing phyla Chytridiomycota, Blastocladiomycota, and Neocallimastigomycota (collectively referred to as chytrids), which probably had an aquatic origin. Extant chytrid species also occur in terrestrial environments as plant pathogenic fungi, soil fungi, and even as anaerobic inhabitants of the guts of herbivores such as cows (all Neocallimastigomycota). Characteristics Fungi are characterized by non-motile bodies (thalli) constructed of apically elongating walled filaments (hyphae), a life cycle with sexual and asexual reproduction, usually from a common thallus, haploid thalli resulting from zygotic meiosis, and heterotrophic nutrition. Spindle pole bodies, not centrioles, usually are associated with the nuclear envelope during cell division. The characteristic wall components are chitin (beta-1,4-linked homopolymers of N-acetylglucosamine in microcrystalline state) and glucans primarily alpha-glucans (alpha-1,3- and alpha-1,6- linkages) (Griffin, 1994).

Figure 4: Portion of a hypha of a zygomycete stained with a blue dye to show the many nuclei present. Many other fungi have septations that devide the hyphae into compartments that usually contain one to several nuclei per compartment. Copyright © M. Blackwell 1996.

Figure 5: Transmission electron micrograph showing duplicated spindle pole body of a prophase I meiotic nucleus of a basidiomycete Exobasidium. Only chytrids among fungi have centrioles and lack spindle pole bodies. Copyright © Beth Richardson 1996.

Exceptions to this characterization of fungi are well known, and include the following: Most species of chytrids have cells with a single, smooth, posteriorly inserted flagellum at some stage in the life cycle, and centrioles are associated with nuclear division. The life cycles of almost all flagellated fungi are poorly studied. The thalli of Chytridiomycota have been thought to be haploid, but recent population genetic data support diploidy for one species (Morehouse et al. 2003; Morgan et al. 2007). Most members of Blastocladiomycota appear to have sporic meiosis and, therefore, an alternation between haploid and diploid generations. Certain members of Mucoromycotina, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota may lack hyphal growth during part or all of their life cycles, and, instead, produce budding yeast cells. Most fungal species with yeast growth forms contain only minute amounts of chitin in the walls of the yeast cells. A few species of Ascomycota (Ophiostomataceae) have cellulose in their walls, and certain members of Blastocladiomycota and Entomophthoromycotina lack walls during part of their life cycle (Alexopoulos et al., 1996). Fossil Record Based on the available fossil record, fungi are presumed to have been present in Late Proterozoic (900-570 mya). Terrestrial forms of purported ascomycetes are reported in associations with microarthropods in the Silurian Period (438-408 mya) (Sherwood-Pike and Gray, 1985). Fossil hyphae in association with wood decay and fossil chytrids and Glomales-Endogonales representatives associated with plants of the Rhynie Chert are reported from the Devonian Period (408-360 mya) (Hass et al., 1994; Remy et al., 1994a, 1994b; Taylor et al., 1994a, 1995b). Fungal fossil diversity increased throughout the Paleozoic Era (Taylor et al., 1994b) with all modern classes reported in the Pennsylvanian Epoch (320-286 mya). A first attempt to match molecular data on fungal phylogeny to the geological record shows general agreement, but does point out some conflicts between the two types of data (Berbee and Taylor 1993). Biogeography Wherever adequate moisture, temperature, and organic substrates are available, fungi are present. Although we normally think of fungi as growing in warm, moist forests, many species occur in habitats that are cold, periodically arid, or otherwise seemingly inhospitable. It is important to recognize that optimum conditions for growth and reproduction vary widely with fungal species. Diversity of most groups of fungi tends to increase in tropical regions, but detailed studies are only in their infancy (Isaac et al., 1993). Although many saprobic and plant pathogenic species with low substrate specificity and effective dispersal systems have broad distributions, gene flow appears to be restricted in many fungi. For these species large bodies of water such as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans create barriers to gene exchange. Some distributions are limited by substrate availability, and dramatic examples come from parasites of Gondowanan plants; one of these is the Southern Hemisphere distribution of the ascomycete Cyttaria, corresponding with part of the distribution of its host plant Nothofagus. The fossil record shows that fungi were present in Antarctica, as is the case for other organisms with Gondwanan distributions. Arthropod associates also may show distributions throughout part or all of a host range, and some fungal species (ex. wood wasp associates) occur outside the range of the associated arthropod. Notable Fungi The largest known basidioma (mushroom or fruiting body) was that of a Rigidioporus ulmarius (Agaricomycetes), hidden-away in a shady corner of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England. This fruiting body was mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records (Matthews, 1994). At the beginning of every New Year the Annual Mensuration Ceremony of the fruiting body took place, and on 19 January 1996 it had increased to 170 cm maximum length (up from 159 in 1995) and 146 cm maximum width (up from 140 in 1995). It also grew 4 cm taller from the soil level, measuring 54 cm. The weight of the fruiting body was estimated to be 284 kg (625 pounds)! Amid rumors of its destruction, Dr. Brian M. Spooner, Head of Mycology, Royal Botanic Gardens, has brought us up to date on the fate of the record specimen. Unfortunately, the basidioma began to rot at the edges a few years ago, likely because the hyphal body of the fungus digested away its elm root substrate, reminding us that a fungus needs a good dispersal system to escape the substrate that eventually inevitably is destroyed. In the life of the fruiting body many trillions of spores must have been produced, and some of these surely fell on an appropiate substrate to establish a new infection. The final insult to the fruiting body came from a fox that burrowed under one side and caused it to collapse. Figure 6: The largest basidioma world record holder Rigidioporus ulmarius at Kew when it was still intact. The mushroom is shown in its largest dimension (170 cm or over 5 1/2 feet). Copyright © D. Pegler 1996. Other large basidiomata are those of a Canadian puffball almost 9 feet in circumference (over 48 pounds) and a basidiocarp of the sulfur mushroom in England (100 pounds). A previousGuinness Book of World Records record-sized fruiting body of Bridgeoporus nobilissimus, an endangered species of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, is over 160 kg (300 pounds) and may have regained the title of "largest" with the demise of the Kew specimen. This polypore also may do itself in because its great weight is likely to eventually cause it to fall as the mycelium depletes its food source, often the noble fir tree. Reproductive structures clearly can be very large, but what about the body of the fungus, which often is hidden from view within the substrate? One fungus body constructed of tubular filaments (hyphae) was brought to our attention when molecular techniques were used to show that it was extensive (37 acres and an estimated blue whale equivalent size of 110 tons). The Michigan fungus clone (Armillaria bulbosa, Agaricomycetes) grew in tree roots and soil. This report drew attention to an even larger fungal clone of Armillaria ostoyae, reported earlier in the state of Washington, which covered over 1,500 acres. Each clone began from the germination of a single spore over a thousand years ago. Although they probably have fragmented and are no longer continuous bodies, such organisms give us cause to think about what constitutes an individual. Penicillium chrysogenum (Ascomycota) is known for its production of the antibiotic penicillin. Although other antibiotics are produced by a variety of organisms, penicillin was the first to be developed. In the spring of 1996 a long dried out culture of the original isolate prepared by its discoverer, Sir Alexander Fleming in the late 1920s, was auctioned by Sotheby's of London and sold to a pharmaceutical company for 23,000 pounds. This price is insignificant when one considers the worth of this fungus, not only in sales of penicillin, but in terms of illnesses cured and lives saved. In the past a simple scratch or blister sometimes could result in a fatal infection such as the blister that resulted in the death of John Calvin Coolidge (1918-1924), the son of a U. S. president. However, misuse of penicillin and other antibiotics has resulted in selection of resistant microorganisms, and the threat of untreatable bacterial infections and diseases (for exampleStaphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli and tuberculosis and syphilis) is still present in our homes and recreation areas. Fungal spores fill the air we breathe. On many days in some localities the number of fungal spores in the air far exceeds the pollen grains. Fungal spores also cause allergies; however, unlike seasonal pollen production, some fungi can produce spores all year long. The largest number of fungal spores ever sampled was over 5.5 million per cubic foot in Wales (Matthews, 1994). Basidiomycetes have always attracted a lot of attention because some of them have large basidiocarps, but the realization that all fungi are important in ecosystem function has drawn more attention to microscopic forms as well. For example a report on the secret sex life of a yeast-like ascomycete human pathogen, Coccidioides immitis, made a headline of the New York Times (6 February 1996, p. B7). This fungus causes Valley Fever and is endemic in parts of the southwestern United States. Although no one has been able to observe sexual reproduction in this species, molecular studies show genetic diversity that is best explained by occurrence of sexual reproduction in the life cycle. Another yeast-like ascomycete reported in the Dallas Morning News (28 August 1995, p. 8D) lives in the gut of cigar beetles and is essential to the beetle's health. Without the gut fungi to detoxify the plant material of toxins, the beetles would be poisoned. Keep on the lookout for other reports of fascinating fungal feats. Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships The kingdom Fungi is a diverse clade of heterotrophic organisms that shares some characters with animals such as chitinous structures, storage of glycogen, and mitochondrial codon UGA encoding tryptophan. Both animals and fungi have spores or gametes with a single smooth, posteriorly inserted flagellum, but only species of the basal chytrid phyla have retained this primitive character (Barr, 1992; Cavalier-Smith, 1987, 1995). Fungi, animals, and other heterotrophic protist-like organisms such as choanoflagellates and Mesomycetozoea are now considered part of the larger group termed opisthokonts (Cavalier-Smith, 1987) in reference to the posterior flagellum. The branch uniting the fungi and animals is well-supported based on a number of molecular phylogenetic datasets, including the nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (Wainwright et al., 1993; Bruns et al. 1993), unique and shared sequence insertions in proteins such as elongation factor 1α (Baldauf and Palmer, 1993), entire mitochondrial genomes (Lang et al., 2002), and concatenated protein-coding genes (Steenkamp et al., 2006). Prior classification systems of Fungi based primarily on morphology are in need of updating to more accurately reflect phylogenetic relationships as determined by molecular systematics. Molecular characters have been essential for phylogenetic analysis in cases when morphological characters are convergent, reduced, or missing among the taxa considered. This is especially true of species that never reproduce sexually, because characters of sexual reproduction traditionally have been the basis for classification of Fungi. Use of molecular characters allows asexual fungi to be placed among their closest relatives. Previous classifications placed early-diverging fungal groups (non-Ascomycota or Basidiomycota) into two phyla: Chytridiomycota and Zygomycota. Numerous phylogenetic studies now suggest that neither is monophyletic, and the latest classification scheme includes six phyla and an additional four unplaced subphyla (Hibbett et al., 2007). At present, because of the ancient divergence times between the fungal phyla, the exact phylogenetic relationships are ambiguous. Chytrids appear to be a paraphyletic group at the base of the fungal phylogeny and merely fungal lineages which have retained the character of flagellated spores. Three phyla of flagellated fungi are proposed (Blastocladiomycota, Chytridiomycota, and Neocallimastigomycota; Hibbett et al., 2007) and two chytrid genera Olpidium and Rozella, are of uncertain phylogenetic position (James et al., 2006a, 2006b). These genera are interesting because they are both highly reduced endoparasites (living inside the host cell) whose entire thallus consists of only a spherical body absorbing nutrients from the host material that surrounds it. Rozella appears in an isolated position in the fungal phylogeny as the very earliest lineage to diverge from the rest of the fungi (James et al., 2006a, 2006b). In contrast, Olpidium brassicae appears to have diverged after the majority of chytrids and is more closely related to some zygomycete fungi (James et al., 2006a, 2006b). Figure 7: The endoparasitic chytrid Rozella allomycis inside the hyphae of another chytrid Allomyces. Thick spiny spores of the parasite are seen inside some cells while zoospores are produced in other cells. © Timothy Y. James Fungi with non-septate or irregularly septate hyphae and thick-walled spores were traditionally placed in the phylum Zygomycota. However, evidence for a monophyletic Zygomycota is lacking (Seif et al., 2005), and the deconstruction of the Zygomycota into four unordered subphyla (Entomophthoromycotina, Kickxellomycotina, Mucoromycotina, Zoopagomycotina) has been proposed (Hibbett et al., 2007). The separation of the superficially similar arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (that lack septa in hyphae but also lack zygospores) into the phylum Glomeromycota has been previously proposed (Schüßler et al., 2001). Whether this phylum is more closely related to the Ascomycota and Basidiomycota lineage or to other zygomycete lineages is controversial (Redecker et al., 2006). Evidence from shared morphological characters such as regularly septate hyphae and a dikaryotic stage (two separate and different nuclei in a single hyphal segment) in the life cycle usually has been interpreted as support for a close relationship between Basidiomycota and Ascomycota. Numerous phylogenetic studies such as SSU rDNA (Berbee and Taylor, 1992), RNA polymerase genes (Liu et al., 2006), and mitochondrial genome sequencing (Seif et al., 2005) provide strong support for this relationship. A subkingdom termed Dikarya is proposed (Hibbett et al., 2007), creating a division between a highly speciose subkingdom (Dikarya) and the remaining early diverging lineages whose relationships are not precisely known. Fungal classification is far from static, and even which organisms are actually members of Fungi is changing. For example, the group trichomycetes describes gut inhabitants of arthropods that share similarities with zygomycetes. Molecular phylogenetic studies have demonstrated that two of the four orders of trichomycetes are actually members of the Mesomycetozoea protist group (Benny and O'Donnell, 2000; Cafaro, 2005). Other organisms that were previously considered to be Fungi because of their heterotrophic, mold-like growth forms are now classified as stramenopiles (Oomycota, Hyphochytriomycota, and Labyrinthulomycota) or slime molds (Myxomycota, Plasmodiomycota, Dictyosteliomycota, Acrasiomycota) (Bhattacharya et al., 1992; Leipe et al., 1994; Van der Auwera et al., 1995). More interesting for mycologists are the findings that some species previously considered protozoa are actually Fungi. For example, the species Hyaloraphidium curvatum was assumed to be a green alga that had adopted a heterotrophic lifecycle concomitantly with losing its chloroplast. It is now known to be a chytrid fungus related to Monoblephariomycetes but lacking a flagellated stage (Ustinova et al., 2000). Other examples include the parasitic organisms presumed to be protozoa, such as the cockroach parasite Nepridiophaga (Wylezich et al., 2004) and the Daphniaparasite Polycarum (Johnson et al., 2006) recently demonstrated to be members of the fungal kingdom based on SSU rDNA phylogenies. The most revolutionary addition to the fungal lineage has occurred with phylogenetic evidence indicating the protist group microsporidia is closely related to Fungi–possibly derived from zygomycetes (Keeling, 2003) or sister to the genus Rozella on the earliest branch in the fungal kingdom (James et al., 2006a). Microsporidia are highly specialized intracellular parasites (primarily of animals) that lack mitochondria but have chitin and trehalose in their spores (similar to Fungi). All molecular studies have shown that microsporidia evolve at an extremely accelerated rate of evolution, making their placement in the Tree of Life difficult. The relationship with fungi is supported by many single and multiple gene phylogenies (e.g., Liu et al., 2006), but an exact placement within the fungi has not received strong support (Keeling and Fast, 2002). More recently the nuclearid amoebae have been demonstrated to be a sister group to the Fungi with strong support (Steenkamp et al., 2006). This finding is significant because Nuclearia lacks a cell wall and has phagotrophic nutrition in which the food source (such as a bacterium or algal cell) is engulfed wholly, unlike fungi and microsporidia which utilize absorptive nutrition. Further sampling of basal fungal lineages will be needed to determine whether a Nuclearia-like organism was the cenancestor (most recent common ancestor) of Fungi.

Other Names for Fungi Mycota Eumycota


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James, T. Y., F. Kauff, C. Schoch, P. B. Matheny, V. Hofstetter, C. Cox, G. Celio, C. Gueidan, E. Fraker, J. Miadlikowska, H. T. Lumbsch, A. Rauhut, V. Reeb, A. E. Arnold, A. Amtoft, J. E. Stajich, K. Hosaka, G.-H. Sung, D. Johnson, B. O'Rourke, M. Crockett, M. Binder, J. M. Curtis, J. C. Slot, Z. Wang, A. W. Wilson, A. Schüßler, J. E. Longcore, K. O'Donnell, S. Mozley-Standridge, D. Porter, P. M. Letcher, M. J. Powell, J. W. Taylor, M. M. White, G. W. Griffith, D. R. Davies, R. A. Humber, J. B. Morton, J. Sugiyama, A. Y. Rossman, J. D. Rogers, D. H. Pfister, D. Hewitt, K. Hansen, S. Hambleton, R. A. Shoemaker, J. Kohlmeyer, B. Volkmann-Kohlmeyer, R. A. Spotts, M. Serdani, P. W. Crous, K. W. Hughes, K. Matsuura, E. Langer, G. Langer, W. A. Untereiner, R. Lücking, B. Büdel, D. M. Geiser, A. Aptroot, P. Diederich, I. Schmitt, M. Schultz, R. Yahr, D. Hibbett, F Lutzoni, D. McLaughlin, J. Spatafora, and R. Vilgalys. 2006a. Reconstructing the early evolution of the fungi using a six gene phylogeny. Nature 443:818-822.

James, T. Y., P. M. Letcher, J. E. Longcore, S. E. Mozley-Standridge, D. Porter, M. J. Powell, G. W. Griffith, and R. Vilgalys. 2006b. A molecular phylogeny of the flagellated Fungi (Chytridiomycota) and a proposal for a new phylum (Blastocladiomycota). Mycologia 98: 860-871.

Johnson, P. T. J., J. E. Longcore, D. E. Stanton, R. B. Carnegie, J. D. Shields, and E. R. Preu. 2006. Chytrid infections of Daphnia pulicaria: development, ecology, pathology and phylogeny of Polycaryum laeve. Freshwater Biology 51: 634-648.

Keeling, P. J. 2003. Congruent evidence from alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin gene phylogenies for a zygomycete origin of microsporidia. Fungal Genetics and Biology 38: 298-309.

Keeling, P. J., and N. M. Fast. 2002. Microsporidia: biology and evolution of highly reduced intracellular parasites. Annual Review of Microbiology 56: 93-116.

Kwon-Chung, K.J., and J.E. Bennett. 1992. Medical Mycology. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia.

Lang, B. F., C. O'Kelly, T. Nerad, M. W. Gray, and G. Burger. 2002. Current Biology 12: 1773-1778.

Leipe, D. D., P. O. Wainright, J. H. Gunderson, D. Porter, D. J. Patterson, F. Valois, S. Himmerich, and M. L. Sogin. 1994. The straminopiles from a molecular perspective: 16S-like rRNA sequences from Labyrinthula minuta and Cafeteria roenbergensis. Phycologia 33:369-377.

Liu, Y., M. C. Hodson, and B. D. Hall. 2006. Loss of the flagellum happened only once in the fungal lineage: phylogenetic structure of kingdom Fungi inferred from RNA polymerase II subunit genes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6:74.

Matthews, P. (Ed.). 1994. Guinness Book of Records. Bantum Books, New York. 819p.

Morehouse, E. A., T. Y. James, A. R. D. Ganley, R. Vilgalys, L. Berger, P. J. Murphy, and J. E. Longcore. 2003. Multilocus sequence typing suggests the chytrid pathogen of amphibians is a recently emerged clone. Molecular Ecology 12:395-403.

Morgan, J. A. T., V. T. Vredenburg, L. J. Rachowicz, R. A. Knapp, M. J. Stice, T. Tunstall, R. E. Bingham, J. M. Parker, J. E. Longcore, C. Moritz, C. J. Briggs, and J. W. Taylor. 2007. Population genetics of the frog killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:13845-13850.

Nagahama, T., H. Sato, M. Shimazu, and J. Sugiyama. 1995. Phylogenetic divergence of the entomophthoralean fungi: evidence from nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Mycologia 87:203-209.

Redecker, D., and P. Raab. 2006. Phylogeny of the Glomeromycota (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi): recent developments and new gene markers. Mycologia 98: 885-895.

Remy, W., T. N. Taylor, and H. Hass. 1994a. Early Devonian fungi - a blastocladalean fungus with sexual reproduction. American Journal of Botany 81:690-702.

Remy, W., T. N. Taylor, H. Hass, and H. Kerp. 1994b. Four hundred-million-year-old vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 91:11841-11843.

Rodrigo, A. G., P. R. Bergquist, and P. I. Bergquist. 1994. Inadequate support for an evolutionary link between the metazoa and the fungi. Systematic Biology 43:578-584.

Schüßler, A., D. Schwarzott, and C. Walker. 2001. A new fungal phylum, the Glomeromycota: phylogeny and evolution. Mycological Research. 105: 1413-1421.

Seif, E., J. Leigh, Y. Liu, I. Roewer, L. Forget, and B. F. Lang. 2005. Comparative mitochondrial genomics in zygomycetes: bacteria-like RNase P RNAs, mobile elements and a close source of the group I intron invasion in angiosperms. Nucleic Acids Research 33:734-744.

Sherwood-Pike, M. A., and J. Gray. 1985. Silurian fungal remains: probable records of the class Ascomycota. Lethaia 18:1-20.

Sidow, A., and W. K. Thomas. 1994. A molecular evolutionary framework for eukaryotic model organisms. Current Biology 4:596-603.

Steenkamp, E. T., J. Wright, and S. L. Baldauf. 2006. The protistan origins of animals and fungi. Mol. Biol. Evol. 23:93-106.

Taylor, J. W., B. Bowman, M. L. Berbee, and T. J. White. 1993. Fungal model organisms: phylogenetics of Saccharomyces, Aspergillus and Neurospora.. Systematic Biology 42:440-457.

Taylor, T. N., W. Remy, H. Hass 1994a. Allomyces in the Devonian. Nature 367:601-601.

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Ustinova, I., L. Krienitz and V. A. R. Huss. 2000. Hyaloraphidium curvatum is not a green alga, but a lower fungus; Amobedium parasiticum is not a fungus, but a member of the DRIPs. Protist 151: 253-262.

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Wylezich, C., R. Radek, and M. Schlegel. 2004. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA identifies the parasitic protist Nephridiophaga blattellae (Nephridiophagidae) as a representative of the Zygomycota (Fungi). Denisia 13: 435-442.

Information on the Internet Popular Sites MykoWeb. WWW pages devoted to the science of mycology and the hobby of mushrooming. Mycological Society of San Francisco. North America's largest local amateur mycological association. Mushroom Observer. The purpose of this site is to record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren't familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms (mycology). The Fungal Jungal. To further educate people about fungi, edible and otherwise, To encourage sustainable and responsible mushroom harvest, and preserve mushroom habitat. Tom Volk's Fungi. Dave Fischer's North American Mushroom Basics. . Forest Fungi. Pilze, Pilze, Pilze. In deutsch. Westfälischen Pilzbriefe. In deutsch. Micologi Associati. Nell'italiano. Directories, Databases & Collections The WWW Virtual Library: Mycology. A well indexed entrance to almost all mycology and fungal biology resources on the Internet. . An internet site containing information about diversity of fungi. Mycorrhiza Information Exchange. Mycology Online. A WWW resource of clinically significant mycological information. Yahoo Mycology. Mycologists Online. World-wide directory for mycology and lichenology. Fungal Databases. Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory. Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Beltsville, Maryland, USA. The Fifth Kingdom online. A mycological encyclopedia. Mycological and Lichenological Collection Catalogs. UCMP Berkeley. University of Alberta Microfungus Collection & Herbarium (UAMH). University of Michigan Fungus Collection. Mycological Herbarium. The Natural History Museums and Botanical Garden, University of Oslo. Herbarium Mycologicum. National Botanic Garden of Belgium. Index Fungorum. Names of fungi. Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS). Fungal Biodiversity Center - Utrecht, The Netherlands. Fungal Genetics Stock Center. Canadian Collection of Fungal Cultures. Images Treasures from the Kingdom of Fungi. Taylor Lockwood's mushroom photography. Fungi Images on the Net. Fungi, Moulds and Lichens. BioImages: The Virtual Field-Guide (UK). George Barron's Website on Mushrooms and other Fungi. Eileen's Mushroom Mania. Nathan's Fungi Page. Pamela's Mushrooms. Research Labs & Projects Deep Hypha. NSF-funded Research Coordination Network (RCN) that is focused on developing robust phylogenetic hypotheses for the deep branches within Kingdom Fungi and enhanced research and educational tools in fungal systematics. AFTOL: Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life. Collaborative research in fungal phylogenetics. Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory. Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Beltsville, Maryland, USA. Forest Mycology and Mycorrhiza Research Team. Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Corvallis, OR, USA. Cornell Center for Fungal Biology (CCFB). IUCN SSC Fungi Specialist Group Website. Mycology at Louisiana State University. Meredith Blackwell's lab. Bruns Lab. University of California at Berkeley. Ecology and evolution of fungi. Spatafora Lab. Oregon State University. Systematics and evolutionary biology of fungi. Taylor Lab. University of California at Berkeley. Evolutionary relationships of fungi, concentrating on the fungi that cause human disease. Thorn Lab. University of Western Ontario. Fungal ecology and systematics. Vilgalys Lab. Duke University. Natural history of fungi, including all aspects of their evolutionary biology, population genetics, and systematics. MycoSite. University of Oslo, Norway. University of Georgia Mycology. University of Tennessee Mycology Lab. Fungal Mitochondrial Genome Project (FMGP). B. Franz Lang, Université de Montréal. Fungimap Australia. A collaborative project between professional and amateur mycologists and naturalists to gather information about the distribution of fungi throughout Australia. The Fungi of New Zealand. Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. MycoKey. Thomas Læssøe & Jens H. Petersen, University of Aarhus. Comparative Studies on the Macrofungi of China and Eastern North America. Qiuxin Wu & Gregory M. Mueller, The Field Museum, Chicago. Survey of Northern Illinois and Indiana Fungi. John F. Murphy & Gregory M. Mueller. The Field Museum, Chicago. Macrofungi of Costa Rica. Roy E. Halling & Gregory M. Mueller. The Fungi of Kenya. Malawi Fungi. Moulds. Isolation, Cultivation, Identification. David Malloch, Department of Botany, University of Toronto. Professional Societies The International Mycological Association. A group that represents mycologists and fungal biologists throughout the world. British Mycological Society. Mycological Society of America. Asociación Latinoamericana de Micología. Australasian Mycological Society. The International Society for Mushroom Science. To further the cultivation of edible (including medicinal) macrofungi. Translations Ukrainian Translation.

Title Illustrations

Scientific Name

Chytridium (Chytridiomycota)


Individual growing on a single pine pollen grain. Successive photos show zoospore release from the sporangium, and the arrow points to a flagellum.


© 1996 H. Whisler, M. Fuller

Scientific Name

Pilobolus crystallinus (Mucoromycotina)


Black sporangium atop swollen sporangiophore. Shortly, the swollen subsporangial vesicle will burst to send the sporangium flying. Herbivores eat the sporangium, and the enclosed mitospores germinate in the dung. The bright yellow carotenoid pigment enables the sporangium to orient to light (phototropism). If you look closely, you can see masses of nematodes on the vesicle; probably herbivore pathogens hoping to hitch a ride.

Specimen Condition

Live Specimen


© 1996 Meredith Blackwell

Scientific Name

Coprinus comatus


North Fork John Day Ranger District, Umatilla National Forest, northeastern Oregon, United States


Closed fruiting bodies

Specimen Condition

Live Specimen



Source Collection

Bugwood Network/Forestry Images

Image Use

This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0.


© Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service

Scientific Name

Sarcoscypha coccinea


Archidona, Málaga, Andalucía, Spain


Fruiting body of the scarlet cup fungus. Hundreds of millions of meiospores (ascospores) are discharged from this cup, usually in puffs that produce visible clouds of spores.

Specimen Condition

Live Specimen


Sarcoscypha Coccinea

Source Collection


Image Use

This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 2.0.


© 2002 Coqui

or maybe a algae

The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) is the set of rules and recommendations dealing with the formal botanical namesthat are given to plants, fungi and a few other groups of organisms, all those "traditionally treated as plants".[1]:Preamble, para. 7 It was formerly called theInternational Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN); the name was changed at the International Botanical Congress in Melbourne in July 2011 as part of the Melbourne Code which replaces the Vienna Code of 2005. As with previous codes, it takes effect as soon as ratified by the congress (on Saturday 23 July 2011), but the documentation of the code in its final form takes some time to prepare after the congress. Preliminary wording of some of the articles with the most significant changes has been published in September 2011.[2] The name of the Code is partly capitalized and partly not. The lower-case for "algae, fungi, and plants" indicates that these terms are not formal names ofclades, but indicate groups of organisms that were historically known by these names and traditionally studied by botanists, mycologists, and phycologists. This includes blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria); fungi, including chytrids, oomycetes, and slime moulds; photosynthetic protists and taxonomically related non-photosynthetic groups. There are special provisions in the ICN for some of these groups, as there are for fossils.[1]:Preamble, para. 7 The ICN can only be changed by an International Botanical Congress (IBC), with the International Association for Plant Taxonomy providing the supporting infrastructure. Each new edition supersedes the earlier editions and is retroactive back to 1753, except where different starting dates are specified.[1]:Principle VI For the naming of cultivated plants there is a separate code, the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, which gives rules and recommendations that supplement the ICN.



1 Principles

2 History

3 See also

4 References

[edit]Principles Botanical nomenclature is independent of zoological, bacteriological, and viral nomenclature (see Nomenclature codes). A botanical name is fixed to a taxon by a type.[1]:Article 7 This is almost invariably dried plant material and is usually deposited and preserved in a herbarium, although it may also be an image or a preserved culture. Some type collections can be viewed online at the websites of the herbaria in question. A guiding principle in botanical nomenclature is priority, the first publication of a name for a taxon.[1]:Principle IIII The formal starting date for purposes of priority is 1 May 1753, the publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus. However, to avoid undesirable (destabilizing) effects of strict enforcement of priority,conservation of family, genus, and species names is possible. The intent of the Code is that each taxonomic group ("taxon", plural "taxa") of plants has only one correct name that is accepted worldwide, provided that it has the same circumscription, position and rank.[1]:Principle IV The value of a scientific name is that it is an identifier; it is not necessarily of descriptive value. Names of taxa are treated as Latin. The rules of nomenclature are retroactive unless there is an explicit statement that this does not apply. [edit]History The rules governing botanical nomenclature have a long and tumultuous history, dating back to dissatisfaction with rules that were established in 1843 to govern zoological nomenclature.[3] The first set of international rules was the Lois de la nomenclature botanique ("Laws of botanical nomenclature") that was adopted as the "best guide to follow for botanical nomenclature"[3] at an "International Botanical Congress" convened in Paris in 1867.[4][5] Unlike modern codes, it was not enforced. It was organized as six sections with 68 articles in total. Multiple attempts to bring more "expedient" or more equitable practice to botanical nomenclature resulted in several competing codes, which finally reached a compromise with the 1930 congress.[3] In the meantime, the second edition of the international rules followed the Vienna congress in 1905. These rules were published as the Règles internationales de la Nomenclature botanique adoptées par le Congrès International de Botanique de Vienne 1905 (or in English, International rules of Botanical Nomenclature adopted by the International Botanical Conference of Vienna 1905). Informally they are referred to as theVienna Rules (not to be confused with the Vienna Code).[1]:Preface Some but not all subsequent meetings of the International Botanical Congress have produced revised versions of these Rules, later called the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Some important versions are listed below.

Year of adoption

Informal name


Vienna Rules


Cambridge Rules


Stockholm Code


Seattle Code


Leningrad Code


Sydney Code


Berlin Code


Tokyo Code


St Louis Code, The Black Code


Vienna Code


Melbourne Code

The Nomenclature Section held just before the 18th International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia in July 2011 saw sweeping changes to the way scientists name new plants, algae, and fungi.[6][7][8] For the first time in history the Code now permits electronic-only publication of names of new taxa; no longer will it be a requirement to deposit some paper copies in libraries. The requirement for a Latin validating diagnosis or description was changed to allow either English or Latin for these essential components of the publication of a new name. "One fungus, one name" and "one fossil, one name" are important changes for fungi and for fossils; the concepts of anamorph and teleomorph (for fungi) as well as morphotaxa (for fossils) have been eliminated. As an experiment with "registration of names", new fungal descriptions will require the use of an identifier from "a recognized repository"; there are two recognized repositories so far, Index Fungorum[9] andMycoBank. The title of the Code was broadened to make explicit that it applies not only to plants, but also to algae and fungi. [edit]See also Specific to botany Author citation (botany) Botanical name Botanical nomenclature International Association for Plant Taxonomy International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants International Plant Names Index Correct name (botany) Infraspecific name (botany) More general Binomial nomenclature Hybrid name Nomenclature codes Scientific classification [edit]References ^ a b c d e f g McNeill, J.; Barrie, F. R.; Burdet, H. M. et al., eds. (2006), International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Vienna Code) Adopted by the Seventeenth International Botanical Congress, Vienna, Austria, July 2005 (electronic ed.), Vienna: International Association for Plant Taxonomy, retrieved 2011-02-20. Note that as the ICN is not yet online, all references are to the previous Vienna Code. Knapp, S.; McNeill, J.; Turland, N.J. (2011). "Changes to publication requirements made at the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne - what does e-publication mean for you?". PhytoKeys 6 (0): 5–11.doi:10.3897/phytokeys.6.1960. ^ a b c Nicolson, D.H. (1991). "A History of Botanical Nomenclature". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 78 (1): 33–56. JSTOR 2399589. Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle (1867). Lois de la nomenclature botanique adoptées par le Congrès International de Botanique tenu à Paris en août 1867 suivies d'une deuxième édition de l'introduction historique et du commentaire qui accompagnaient la rédaction préparatoire présentée à la congrès. Genève et Bale: J.-B. Baillière et fils. Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle (1868). Laws of Botanical Nomenclature adopted by the International Botanical Congress held at Paris in August 1867; together with an Historical Introduction and Commentary by Alphonse de Candolle, Translated from the French. translated by Hugh Algernon Weddell. London: L. Reeve and Co. Miller JS, Funk VA, Wagner WL, Barrie F, Hoch PC, Herendeen P (2011). "Outcomes of the 2011 Botanical Nomenclature Section at the XVIII International Botanical Congress". PhytoKeys 5: 1–3.doi:10.3897/phytokeys.5.1850. John McNeill, 2011. Important decisions of the Nomenclature Section of the XVIII International Botanical Congress, Melbourne, 18–22 July 2011. Botanical Electronic News, ISSN=1188-603X, 441 Botanists finally ditch Latin and paper, enter 21st century, Hannah Waters, Scientific American blog, December 28, 2011 "Index Fungorum Registration".






Subdisciplines of botany



Plant anatomy

Plant ecology

Plant evo-devo

Plant morphology

Plant physiology


Evolutionary history of plants






Plant parts








Vascular tissue


Plant cells

Cell wall




Plant hormone



Plant reproduction

Alternation of generations


Plant sexuality






Plant taxonomy

Botanical name

Botanical nomenclature




Species Plantarum


Glossary of botanical terms

Glossary of plant morphology terms



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Categories: Botanical nomenclature Classification systems Nomenclature

Penicillin is one of the earliest discovered and widely used antibioticagents, derived from the Penicillium mold. Antibiotics are natural substances that are released by bacteria and fungi into the their environment, as a means of inhibiting other organisms - it is chemical warfare on a microscopic scale. Sir Alexander Fleming Alexander Fleming born August. 6, 1881 , Darvel, Scotland died March 11, 1955 , London, England In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming observed that colonies of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus could be destroyed by the mold Penicillium notatum, proving that there was an antibacterial agent there in principle. This principle later lead to medicines that could kill certain types of disease-causing bacteria inside the body. At the time, however, the importance of Alexander Fleming's discovery was not known. Use of penicillin did not begin until the 1940s when Howard Florey and Ernst Chain isolated the active ingredient and developed a powdery form of the medicine. History of Penicillin Originally noticed by a French medical student, Ernest Duchesne, in 1896. Penicillin was re-discovered by bacteriologist Alexander Fleming working at St. Mary's Hospital in London in 1928. He observed that a plate culture of Staphylococcus had been contaminated by a blue-green mold and that colonies of bacteria adjacent to the mold were being dissolved. Curious, Alexander Fleming grew the mold in a pure culture and found that it produced a substance that killed a number of disease-causing bacteria. Naming the substance penicillin, Dr. Fleming in 1929 published the results of his investigations, noting that his discovery might have therapeutic value if it could be produced in quantity. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Hodgkin used x-rays to find the structural layouts of atoms and the overall molecular shape of over 100 molecules including penicillin. Dorothy's discovery of the molecular layout of penicillin helped lead scientists to develop other antibiotics. Dr. Howard Florey It was not until 1939 that Dr. Howard Florey, a future Nobel Laureate, and three colleagues at Oxford University began intensive research and were able to demonstrate penicillin's ability to kill infectious bacteria. As the war with Germany continued to drain industrial and government resources, the British scientists could not produce the quantities of penicillin needed for clinical trials on humans and turned to the United States for help. They were quickly referred to the Peoria Lab where scientists were already working on fermentation methods to increase the growth rate of fungal cultures. One July 9, 1941, Howard Florey and Norman Heatley, Oxford University Scientists came to the U.S. with a small but valuable package containing a small amount of penicillin to begin work. Pumping air into deep vats containing corn steep liquor (a non-alcoholic by-product of the wet milling process) and the addition of other key ingredients was shown to produce faster growth and larger amounts of penicillin than the previous surface-growth method. Ironically, after a worldwide search, it was a strain of penicillin from a moldy cantaloupe in a Peoria market that was found and improved to produce the largest amount of penicillin when grown in the deep vat, submerged conditions. Andrew J. Moyer By November 26, 1941, Andrew J. Moyer, the lab's expert on the nutrition of molds, had succeeded, with the assistance of Dr. Heatley, in increasing the yields of penicillin 10 times. In 1943, the required clinical trials were performed and penicillin was shown to be the most effective antibacterial agent to date. Penicillin production was quickly scaled up and available in quantity to treat Allied soldiers wounded on D-Day. As production was increased, the price dropped from nearly priceless in 1940, to $20 per dose in July 1943, to $0.55 per dose by 1946. As a result of their work, two members of the British group were awarded the Nobel Prize. Dr. Andrew J. Moyer from the Peoria Lab was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and both the British and Peoria Laboratories were designated as International Historic Chemical Landmarks. Andrew J Moyer Patent On May 25, 1948, Andrew J Moyer was granted a patent for a method of the mass production of penicillin. Resistance to Penicillin Four years after drug companies began mass-producing penicillin in 1943, microbes began appearing that could resist it. The first bug to battle penicillin was Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium is often a harmless passenger in the human body, but it can cause illness, such as pneumonia or toxic shock syndrome, when it overgrows or produces a toxin. Although their names — ringworm, jock itch, and athlete's foot — may sound funny, if you're a teen with one of these skin infections, you're probably not laughing. If you've ever had one, you know that all of these can produce some pretty unpleasant symptoms. The good news is that tinea, the name for this category of common skin infections, is generally easy to treat. The Basics on Tinea Infections Tinea (pronounced: tih-nee-uh) is the medical name for a group of related skin infections, including athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm. They're caused by several types of mold-like fungicalled dermatophytes (pronounced: der-mah-tuh-fites) that live on the dead tissues of the skin, hair, and nails. What Is Ringworm? Ringworm, which isn't a worm at all, can affect not only the skin, but also the nails and scalp. Ringworm of the skin starts as a red, scaly patch or bump. Ringworm tends to be very itchy and uncomfortable. Over time, it may begin to look like a ring or a series of rings with raised, bumpy, scaly borders (the center is often clear). This ring pattern gave ringworm its name, but not every person who's infected develops the rings. When ringworm affects the feet it's known as athlete's foot, and the rash, which is usually between a person's toes, appears patchy. In fact, the rashes a person gets with athlete's foot and jock itch may not look like rings at all — they may be red, scaly patches. Ringworm of the scalp may start as a small sore that resembles a pimple before becoming patchy, flaky, or scaly. It may cause some hair to fall out or break into stubbles. It can also cause the place where the infection is to become swollen, tender, and red. Ringworm of the nails may affect one or more nails on a person's hands or feet. The nails may become thick, white or yellowish, and brittle. Ringworm of the nails is not too common before puberty, though. Can I Prevent Ringworm? The most common sources of the fungi that cause tinea infections are other people. Ringworm is contagious and is easily spread from one person to another, so avoid touching an infected area on another person. It's also possible to become infected from contact with animals, like cats and dogs. It can be difficult to avoid ringworm because the dermatophyte fungi are very common. To protect yourself against infection, it can help to wear flip-flops on your feet in the locker room shower or at the pool, and to wash sports clothing regularly. Because fungi are on your skin, it's important to shower after contact sports and to wash your hands often, especially after touching pets. If you discover a red, patchy, itchy area that you think may be ringworm, call your doctor. How Is Ringworm Treated? Fortunately, ringworm is fairly easy to diagnose and treat. Doctors usually can diagnose ringworm based on how it looks, but sometimes will scrape off a small sample of the flaky infected skin to test for fungus. If you do have ringworm, your doctor will recommend an antifungal medication. A topical ointment or cream usually takes care of skin infections, but ringworm of the scalp or nails requires oral antifungal medication. Your doctor will decide which treatment is best for you. witch one did you think i was here are some pics

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