FUNGI AND FUNGA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - General Science)

News-CRUX-10     31st August 2023        

Context: United Nations Biodiversity has urged people globally to use the word ‘funga’ whenever they say ‘flora and fauna’, in order to highlight the importance of fungi.

Key Points

  • Fungi, along with Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Protista, Archaea/Archaebacteria, and Bacteria or Eubacteria form the six ‘kingdoms’ of biology.
  • This is not the first time when a request has been made to include fungi along with flora and fauna.
  • Two years ago, the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that it would use “mycologically inclusive” (referring to fungi) language in its internal and public-facing communications (“fauna, flora and funga” and “animals, fungi and plants”) and to incorporate fungi in conservation strategies with rare and endangered plants and animals.


  • Fungi are eukaryotic organisms that include microorganisms such as yeasts, moulds and mushrooms.
  • The organisms found in Kingdom fungi contain a cell wall and are omnipresent. 
  • They are classified as heterotrophs among the living organisms.
  • Almost all the fungi have a filamentous structure except the yeast cells.
  • Fungi possess a cell wall which is made up of chitin and polysaccharides.
  • The cell wall comprises a protoplast, which is differentiated into other cell parts such as cell membrane, cytoplasm, cell organelles and nuclei.
  • Fungi lack chlorophyll and hence cannot perform photosynthesis.
  • Fungi store their food in the form of starch.
  • Examples include mushrooms, moulds and yeast.
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