Fungi are made up of thread like structure known as hyphae. Hyphae are also in the form of cluster called mycelium. They have deficiency of chlorophyll. According to the mode of diet they are considered heterotrophs because they cannot prepare their own food. They get their food from other living matter. Some of them are parasites and obtain their food from other living organisms while most of them are saprotrops because they obtain their nutrition from other mouldy bodies of plant and animals.
Fungi are of thousands of kinds of which some are useful while some are harmful for humans. Many fungi like mushrooms are used as food by man. Fungi act as decomposers. They decompose dead organic matter in this way they convert complex compounds into simple one hence these simple ones play important role in the cycle of environment.
We get antibiotics from some kinds of fungi like penicillin is obtained from the fungus, penicillium. Fungi cause a number of diseases in plants and in human beings. Rust and smut disease of wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane, etc. are caused by fungi. Some types of fungi cause diseases like athlete’s foot and ring worm in man. Rhizopus and mushrooms are the examples of fungi.