Viruses, Bacteria, Protists, and Fungi

What characteristics do all fungi share?

In the earliest classification systems, fungi were classified as plants. The first classification system to recognize fungi as a separate kingdom was proposed in 1784. Researchers identified four characteristics shared by all fungi: fungi lack chlorophyll; the cell walls of fungi contain the carbohydrate chitin (the same tough material a crab shell is made of); fungi are not truly multicellular since the cytoplasm of one fungal cell mingles with the cytoplasm of adjacent cells; and fungi are heterotrophic eukaryotes (unable to produce their own food from inorganic matter) while plants are autotrophic eukaryotes.


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