Mushroom Hunting

Topics: Fungus, Mushroom, Plant Pages: 2 (644 words) Published: April 7, 2013

As you walk through a forest or even your backyard you may take a glance towards the ground and see a mushroom. Have you ever wondered what may be causing it to grow? What it is made of etc.? Different mushrooms are made of different things, and different forms of growth allow their quickness abilities in growth.

So what is a mushroom? A mushroom is the fruit of the mushroom plant, like the apple of an apple tree. The body of the mushroom in called mycelium and its individual parts are microscopic. Since the body of the mushroom is usually dispersed over a relatively large area, it is rarely noticed. In nature, some species of mushrooms may have a body that spreads over hundreds of square miles. Mushrooms are fungi, and are usually placed in a kingdom of their own apart from plants and animals. Mushrooms contain no chlorophyll and most are considered saprophytes. They obtain their nutrition from metabolizing non-living organic matter. This means that they decompose off dead things, or alternately speaking eat dead plants. When enough material is stored and the conditions are just right they begin to fruit, or produce mushrooms.

Does it seem as though sometimes mushrooms grow overnight? If the body is spread out and microscopic, how do mushrooms grow so quickly? There are two basic reasons: one since they store up compounds between fruiting and most fruit once a year, they have a lot of reserve available to support the mushroom, and two Mushrooms develop differently than plants or animals do. Plants and animals use cell division, which requires a lot of energy and time. While mushrooms do use cell division, they also use cell enlargement to grow. In a mushroom plant, a mushroom has the same number of cells, as it will when it is fully-grown. That is where cell enlargement is use much like your muscle cells in your body which do not replicate, but grow instead. This means that the cells can balloon up very rapidly. Very little energy is...
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