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A hypha (plural hyphae) is a long, branching filamentous cell of a fungus, and also of unrelated Actinobacteria. In fungi, hyphae are the main mode of vegetative growth, and are collectively called a mycelium.
Additional recommended knowledge
A hypha consists of one or more cells surrounded by a tubular cell wall. In most fungi, hyphae are divided into cells by internal cross-walls called septa (singular septum). Septa are usually perforated by pores large enough for ribosomes, mitochondria and sometimes nuclei to flow among cells. The structural polymer in fungal cell walls is typically chitin (in contrast plants have cellulosic cell walls, and animal cells lack walls). Some Fungi however, have non septate hypha, meaning their hypha are not separated by septa.
Hyphae grow at their tips. During tip growth, cell walls are extended by the external assembly and polymerization of cell wall components, and the internal production of new cell membrane. The Spitzenkorper is an intracellular organelle associated with tip growth. It is composed of an aggregation of membrane-bound vesicles containing cell wall components. The vesicles travel to the cell membrane via the cytoskeleton, and dump their contents outside the cell by the process of exocytosis. Vesicle membranes contribute to growth of the cell membrane while their contents form new cell wall. As a hypha extends, septa may be formed behind the growing tip to partition each hypha into individual cells. Hyphae can branch through bifurcation of a growing tip, or by the emergence of a new tip from an established hypha.
Hyphae may be modified in many different ways to serve specific functions. Some parasitic fungi form haustoria that function in absorption within the host cells. The arbuscules of mutualistic mycorrhizal fungi serve a similar function in nutrient exchange, so are important in assisting nutrient and water absorption by plants. Hyphae are found enveloping the gonidia in lichens, making up a large part of their structure. In nematode-trapping fungi, hyphae may be modified into trapping structures such as constricting rings and adhesive nets. Cords can be formed to transfer nutrients over larger distances.
Types of hyphae
Based on the generative, skeletal and binding hyphal types, in 1932 E. J. H. Corner applied the terms monomitic, dimitic, and trimitic to hyphal systems, in order to improve the classification of polypores.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hypha". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|