To use all functions of this page, please activate cookies in your browser.
With an accout for my.bionity.com you can always see everything at a glance – and you can configure your own website and individual newsletter.
- My watch list
- My saved searches
- My saved topics
- My newsletter
Water molds (or water moulds: see spelling differences) also known as Oomycetes are a group of filamentous, unicellular Heterokonts, physically resembling fungi. They are microscopic, absorptive organisms that reproduce both sexually and asexually and are composed of mycelia, or a tube-like vegetative body (all of an organism's mycelia are called its thallus). The name "water mold" refers to their earlier classification as fungi, which stemmed from their preference for conditions of high humidity and running surface water, although they are now known to have evolved separately and show a number of differences. For instance, their cell walls are composed of cellulose rather than chitin and generally do not have septations. Also, in the vegetative state they have diploid nuclei, whereas fungi have haploid nuclei.
Additional recommended knowledge
Instead, water molds are related to organisms such as brown algae and diatoms, making up a group called the heterokonts. The name comes from the common arrangement and structure of motile cells, which typically have two unequal flagella. Among the water molds, these are produced as asexual spores called zoospores, which capitalize on surface water (including precipitation on plant surfaces) for movement. They also produce sexual spores, called oospores, that are translucent double-walled spherical structures used to survive adverse environmental conditions. A few produce aerial asexual spores that are distributed by wind.
The water molds are economically and scientifically important because they are aggressive plant pathogens (see plant pathology). Some species can cause disease in fish. The majority can be broken down into three groups, although more exist.
Classification of Oomycetes
Traditionally, this group was thought to include types of fungi, and, indeed, Fungi themselves were thought to be closely related to Plants. Many species of Oomycetes are still described and listed as types of Fungi.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oomycete". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|