Some fungi have hyphae that have partitions. These partitions as we can see here are called as the Septa, or singular Septum! So such types of hyphae are called as septate hyphae . Now can you guess the next type? They will be without the Septum! In many fungi, you find no partitions in the hyphae. These are called as aseptate hyphae. Another name for such type is coenocytic hyphae . Now you may wonder as to why the structure of these hyphae is so important to us? What could be their possible function? Well, apart from forming the entire body of the fungi, these help in many ways. Hyphae are ideal for absorbing nutrients from the surrounding food source. Precisely, the tip of these hyphae release enzymes that bring about digestion of food outside the body. After breakdown, these nutrients are absorbed directly by the hyphae and are passed to various parts of the fungal body. If the hyphae are aseptate, then the nutrients can be directly passed. However in Septate hyphae, the case is different. The septa have small pores which allow passage or even exchange of substances. The hyphae are also known to contain cytoplasm and a few important organelles. And most important is the presence of nuclei inside them. Thus, the genetic material of the fungus is locked in these hyphae.
For all these reasons the hyphae are important to us while studying the fungi. Well this was the multi-cellular structure of fungi. But this is what we observe under the microscope right? So will the huge macroscopic structures that we see in case of mushrooms have a similar internal structure or something different? Think for a moment! Well, astonishingly these also have a similar internal structure. So the body of the mushroom will also be made up of Mycelium. Similar to the microscopic ones, even this Mycelium will be made up of inter-woven hyphae. So we may find slight modifications in these different types of fungi, but the basic structure remains the same! Well you may wonder as to why we need to study about these fungi. What is their importance? Let me explain. There are several important roles that fungi play in ours as well as other organisms lives. Some of them include, forming a symbiotic relation with plant roots. Symbiotic means a mutual give and take relation. So both organisms: the plants as well as the fungi are benefited in some or the other way. Secondly, helping us with many medicinally important products. Do you know any such product obtained from fungi? Of course you do! You are familiar with the antibiotic Penicillin. This is obtained from the fungi of genius penicillium. Similarly, many of the foods that we relish including bakery items and cheese are all a gift of various fungi to us. So don’t you think studying them is important for us? That is the reason why we have a complete branch of microbiological studies dedicated for studying fungi exclusively! This is called Mycology, where mycos is fungi and logos is study! Well this was about the fungi.