Describe ecological, disease, commercial, medicinal, and other aspects of Kingdom Fungi
- Ecological: diverse enzymes which have the ability to break down lignin, return important elements back to the soil, can decompose just about anything (paint, CDs, jet fuel, drywall mud, etc)
- Disease: 175 known to cause disease in humans. 5,000+ known to cause disease in plants.
- Commercial: growers spend $$$ on fungicides. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast) important for adult beverages, bread, and baking. Penicillium roqueforti involved in cheese production. Mushrooms eaten as food. Potential for toxic waste cleanup.
- Medicinal: original antibacterial (penicillin accidently discovered). Cyclosporine used as an immune suppressor during organ transplants.
- Other: yeasts are important for genetic research (metabolism, molecular genetics, eukaryotic development, etc)