Definition, History & Characteristics of Kingdom Fungi

In this Articles we cover the main definition general Characters of Fungi and the history of fungus so if you know about fungi do comment in our comment section below.

History And Definition Of Fungi

Thallophyta also includes a group of plants which unlike all others is heterotrophic. This is because these plants, placed together in Fungi, are achlorophyllous (without chlorophyll). These form a large group which includes more than 1,00,000 species. The branch of botany dealing with the study of fungi is known as mycology (mykes = mushroom, logos = discourse). The first systematic description of fungi was given by an Italian botanist Pier’ Antonio Micheli (1729) in his book Nova Plantarum Genera. He is, therefore, rightly called the Founder of Mycology’.Who is the founder of mycology? Answer is Pier’ Antonio Micheli. 

Although fungi have many characteristics common to chlorophyllous thallophyta (i.e., algae) but differ from them in many features  Therefore, they have been placed in a separate group. Some distinctive features of fungi are as follows.

Characters of Fungi or Kingdom Fungi

In biology Characters of fungi is the main topic of fungus so now we are going to discuss about the general characters of fungus or fungi.


Thallus is called mycelium. It is made up of thread-like filaments known as hyphae (sing. = hypha). The hyphae are septate or aseptate. The cell wall is mostly made of chitin. 

Fungi lack chlorophyll and, hence, cannot by manufacturing their own carbohydrate food by photosynthesis. Thus fungi are heterotrophic i.e., saprophytes (obtaining their food from dead organic matter) or parasites (obtaining food from living organisms). They store their food in the  form of glycogen (glycogen being common in many animals, it is known as animal starch).


Fungi occur almost everywhere in nature. They grow in water, soil, air, on food, leather, cloth, on optical instruments, etc. They can also be seen on our hair, mouth, eyes and even intestine. The economic losses they cause are out of all proportion to their size and importance as plants.

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