What is Trichoglossum?

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What is Trichoglossum? Blog Image


Researchers recently discovered a new fungus species in Kerala named Trichoglossum syamviswanathii.

About Trichoglossum:

  • Trichoglossum is a genus of fungus classified within the family Geoglossaceae (Ascomycota), commonly known as “hairy earth tongues” fungus due to their numerous filaments resembling mushrooms.
  • They are black, dark, or brown in colour.
  • They exhibit saprotrophic behavior but can also be found as endophytes in plant roots.
  • 55 Trichoglossum genera have been identified globally. Of these, 21 are recognized species.
  • They are globally distributed in tropical and temperate forests at least five out of seven continents of the world.
  • They play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter.

Key Facts about Fungi:

  • Fungi, along with Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Protista, Archaea/Archaebacteria, and Bacteria or Eubacteria,form the six ‘kingdoms’ of biology.
  • They are eukaryotic organisms, i.e., their cells contain membrane-bound organelles and clearly defined nuclei.
  • Reproduction: Fungi usually reproduceboth sexually and asexually. 
  • Distribution:

o Fungi are either terrestrial or aquatic, the latter living in freshwater or marine environments.

o They are found in all temperate and tropical regions of the world where there is sufficient moisture to enable them to grow.

o A few species of fungi live in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, although they are rare and are more often found living in symbiosis with algae in the form of lichens.

  • Importance of fungi:

o They help in breaking down dead organic material; they continue the cycle of nutrients through ecosystems.

o Fungi, as food, play a role in human nutrition in the form of mushrooms.

o They also act as agents of fermentation in the production of bread, cheeses, alcoholic beverages, and numerous other food preparations.

o Secondary metabolites of fungi are used as medicines, such as antibiotics and anticoagulants

Q1: What are saprotrophs?

Saprotrophs, also known as saprophytes, are organisms that obtain their nutrients by decomposing and absorbing organic matter from dead or decaying organisms. These organisms play a vital role in breaking down complex organic compounds into simpler forms, facilitating the recycling of nutrients in ecosystems.

Source:New species of fungus aiding in increasing soil fertility discovered in Kerala