Viruses, Bacteria, Protists, and Fungi

What organisms are included in the kingdom Fungi?

Members of the kingdom Fungi range from single-celled yeasts to Armillaria ostoyea, a species that covers 2,220 acres (890 hectares)! Also included are mushrooms that are commonly consumed, the black mold that forms on stale bread, the mildew that grows on damp shower curtains, rusts, smuts, puffballs, toadstools, shelf fungi, and the death cap mushroom, Amanita phalloides. Of the bewildering variety of organisms that live on the planet Earth, perhaps the most unusual and peculiarly different from human beings are fungi. Fungi are able to rot timber, attack living plants, spoil food, and afflict humans with athlete’s foot and even worse maladies. Fungi also decompose dead organisms, fallen leaves, and other organic materials. In addition, they produce antibiotics and other drugs, make bread rise, and ferment beer and wine.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Science Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App