Amanita bisporigera "The Destroying Angel" - BIO203


Amanita bisporigera forms a mycorrhizal relationship with the roots of trees, which is extremely beneficial for both parties. A. bisporigera gains valuable nutrients from the plant that it often wouldn’t be able to acquire otherwise. The plant receives valuable nutrients as well. A. bisporigera can also be classified as a saprophyte, or decomposer, because of its ability to gain nutrients from decaying dead organic matter.

To aquire nutrients from the external environment, Amanita bisporigera must secrete exoenzymes to digest the substrate before it is able to be absorbed into the cell. The fungus tends to grow in the direction of the available nutrients. This occurs at the external tip of the hyphae in a specialized structure called the Spitzenkörper. This structure contains vesicles of exoenzymes that are then released to the external environment to break down a substrate. 

Amanita bisporigera transports water and nutrients by use of hyphae. These hyphae act in similar fashion as a circulatory system. They are found throughout the entire fungus, and are the main means of transport for nutrients. Nutrients within the hyphae are most commonly moved through diffusion or active transport by use of vesicles.  Storage of food also occurs within the hyphae of the fungus. The fungi's chitin cell walls help in keeping the nutrients within the fungal cells as well.  An abundance of nutrients must be present for the production of sexual spores and the fruiting bodies that produce them.


Here is a photo of  the mycelium of fungus. A mycelium is just a collection of hyphae together. The fungus is using the underside of a rotting log as a nutrient source.

 Source: Wikimedia Commons

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