This photo was courtesy of Damon Tighe, it is Psilocybe cyanescens fruiting body


Psilocybe cyanescens is a heterotroph, which simply put means that it does not generate its own energy from sunlight, but rather consumes other organisms in order to fulfill its nutritional requirements. Because it is unable to synthesize its own organic compounds, it must get its energy from an external source. Therefore the aspect of "Hetero" means other, and "troph" refers to feeding, therefore the definition of heterotroph determines that the organism feeds on other organisms. This is also common in the kingdom anamalia, as they consume other organisms to fulfill their nutritional requirements as well.

The methods of consumption that fungi use to fulfill their nutritional
requirements is solely unique to the kingdom Fungi, which is utterly fascinating! The mushroom secretes a digestive enzyme on the organic substrate that it is growing on, which completely digests it. Then, after the organic material is digested, the fungus consumes it. So, to simply reiderate the material just discussed, the mushroom release an enzyme, and then consumes the material that it has previously digested to fulfill its nutritional requirements. This is the opposite of human digestion, as consumption occurs first in humans followed by digestion within the body cavity.

In respect to their genetic makeup, fungi follow the same feeding pattern as animals do, which is the opposite of plants. P Cyanescens consumes oxygen, and releases carbon dioxide into the external environment as a byproduct of cellular respiration. While plants take in carbon dioxide and sunlight, with the byproduct oxygen is released in response fungi do the exact opposite. Once the nutritional requirements have been fulfilled, the mushroom is able to produce a network of mycelium, which when presented adequate growing conditions will prosper into fruiting bodies and become a
full-fledged mushroom in turn.               
                                                                                                                                                                P. Cyanescens, Dec 11, 2010

Click on the corresponding link to see the entire life cycle of P. cyanescens in greater detail, in order to be able to fully comprehend the nutritional balance between mycelium and fruiting body! If you would like to progress to the next page, click on the link for the interactions that P. cyanescens has with its external environment.