Uses as decomposer’s of wastes
• Many saprophytic fungi decompose plant and animal debris and continuously
remove it from the man’s environment.
• During this process they also liberate a large amount of CO2, which is used by
the green plants for the synthesis of food by photosynthesis.
• Decomposition of organic wastes also result in the formation of humus, which is
needed for the growth of plants.
• A symbiotic association of fungi and the roots of
higher plants is called mycorrhiza.
• Literal meaning of mycorrhiza is fungus root.
• Mycorrhizal roots generally lack root hairs.This
association helps in the absorption of nutrients.
• The Mycorrhizal roots are generally resistant to
• There are about 200 species of fungi which
are used as food.
• The most important among them are
common field mushroom.
• E.g. Agaricus campestris, Morchella
esculanta, Lycoperdon, Catherella cibarius
and Boletus edulis
• They are rich source of vitamins.
• They are delicious in taste
• The large scale production of yeast cake is called ‘microbial
• These are prepared by mixing a large number of yeast cells
with some inert substances such as, starch and then
compressed to form cakes.
• Yeast cells are rich in protein and hence, the yeast cakes are
eaten directly as health giving food.
• Yeast cakes are extensively used in baking and brewing
• They are also used in laboratories to demonstrate
fermentation in sugary solution.
Uses in Medicines
• Many strains of fungi produce potential
metabolites which are used as medicines or in
the preparation of medicines. Some metabolic
products used in medicine are
• The drug stimulate muscles of uterus & used as
abortifacient to assit child birth.
• It is also used to increase blood pressure,
controls uterine hemorrhage & in many other
• Many antibiotics are obtain from fungi.
• E.g. Penicillin andClavicin etc.
• Fungi are rich source of many vitamins.
• Vitamins B complex is obtained from
yeasts. Other vitamins obtained from
yeasts & molds are – vitamin D,
Riboflavin, Ergosterol, etc.
• Fungi are used in many important industries in the
production of varied products.
• The common alcoholic beverages- wine & beer are
fermentation products by the activity of different
species of Saccharomyces.
• Wine is made from juice of grapes or other fruits by
allowing yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to induce
• It contains 10-12 % alcohol.
• Beer is chiefly made from barley grains.The starch of
grain is first converted to fermentable sugars, maltose
& glucose by the process called malting.
• It is then fermented by special strains of
• The beer contains 3–8 % alcohol.