Galapagos Species Checklist

Other 'fungi'

Heterotrophic organisms with an ecology similar to fungi are traditionally studied by mycologists. Molecular studies have revolutionized our understanding of the phylogeny of these organisms and it is now well established that they are not closely related, but despite their similar ecology actually belong to several different kingdoms.

Two growth types can be distinguished among these organisms similar to fungi:

  • slime molds grow as a mass of gelatinous slime that feeds on organic material by enveloping and ingesting their food by phagocytosis;
  • filamentous forms that form long threads of cells in appearance similar to the hyphae of true Fungi and like those typically ingesting their food through absorption by excreting digestion enzymes.

True slime molds grow as a syncytium, i.e., they form one mass of gelatinous slime that represents a single amoeboid cell with thousands of nuclei living together within the same cytoplasm. Macroscopically these plasmodial slim molds are almost indistinguishable from cellular slime molds, which are aggregates of single cells all inhabiting the same mass of gelatinous slime.

The filamentous forms are superficially similar to the hyphal network of true Fungi, but these organisms are phylogenetically related to algae (Chromalveolata), i.e., during their evolutionary history they once might have been capable of photosynthesis, but must have lost their chloroplasts when they adopted a heterotrophic mode of absorptive nutrition.

Knowledge of the diversity of these groups is generally extremely poor and most remain unknown from the Galapagos.

Editors: Frank Bungartz, Scott T. Bates.

Other Contributors: Franklin Arboleda, Xavier Arturo, Paul Cannon, Paul Gamboa, Teresa Iturriaga, Leif Ryvarden.



There is currently no CDF Checklist information available for this taxonomic group. If you are a specialist in this group, we welcome your participation.

You are welcome to download and use this information acknowledging the origin of the data.
This list should be cited as follows:

Bungartz, F., Bates, S. T. (2011). CDF Checklist of Galapagos Other 'fungi' - FCD Lista de especies de Otros 'fungi' de Galápagos. In: Bungartz, F., Herrera, H., Jaramillo, P., Tirado, N., Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Ruiz, D., Guézou, A. & Ziemmeck, F. (eds.). Charles Darwin Foundation Galapagos Species Checklist - Lista de Especies de Galápagos de la Fundación Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin Foundation / Fundación Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos: Last updated 23 Jun 2011.