Saturday, December 19, 2009

useful and harmful effects of fungi-FOB-btechbiotechnology-introduction to microorganisms-1st chapter

Useful Effects of Fungi

Helps break up dead organisms and waste matter

Fertilizes soil

One mold produces the drug “Penicillin”

Flavor of the cheese “Roquefort” is a type of mold

Helps control insects that are harming crops

Harmful effects of fungi to humans
A number of moulds and yeasts cause human and animal diseases. For example, species of Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Sporothrix are opportunistic pathogens and easily infect individuals with weak immune systems.

A number of other moulds are well recognized causes of allergic reactions. For example Penicillium roquefortii and Aspergillus clavatus are causes of pulmonary allergy in the cheese and brewery industries respectively. Arthrinium casues skin allergies of cane harvesters.

Apart from infection and allergies, some moulds produce toxic compounds that are harmful to both humans and animals. The best known of these toxins is aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is mainly produced by some species of Aspergillus such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasitica. Aflatoxin is a powerful trigger of cancer (i.e., it is carcinogenic).

Harmful effects of fungi to plants
Majority of plant diseases are caused by fungi. The plant diseases caused by fungi range from tissue death to vascular wilting. Fungi cause both field and storage losses of agricultural products.

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