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Water mold

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Water mold
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Scientific Classification
Orders

Water Mold comprise a taxonomic Class of protists that were originally believed to be a fungi, because of its close resemblance to mold. Scientists recently recognized it as having an independent lineage, separate from fungi.[1] This unicellular protist, has over 800 species divided into two major phyla divisions. These two divisions include the Chytrids and the Oomycetes. Each of these types of Water Mold have unique characteristics that show God's creative hand at work. Although it can be very harmful at times, Water Mold is normally just an annoying occurrence for many of us. Whether it be a small patch growing in an area of high humidity, or a large amount left from running surface water, it is something none of us enjoy. It is not that hard to get rid of, and with proper cleaning something that is easily avoidable. By learning the make-up and physical characteristics of Water Mold, we will not only know how to prevent it, but also why it occurs in the first place.

Contents

Anatomy

Water Mold is one of the many organisms that is often mistaken for something else. For many years, scientists were even confused about its classification. It resembles fungi in many ways, but upon closer inspection has its own characteristics. The group itself is made of filamentous, unicellular protists. It is composed of either a mycelia or a tube-like vegetative body. The mold can perform many of its functions through the rhizoids, which act like roots, absorbing nutrients. These hairlike structures protrude from the sporangia (structure that produces spores).[2]

When inspecting the difference among Water Mold and fungi one of the things you will find is the cellulose contained in the mold's walls. This cellulose provides energy and nutrition to the mold, whereas the fungi's walls contain chitin. Another important difference is the nuclei of these organisms. During the vegetative state, Water Mold has diploid nuclei, in contrast to fungi which is haploid. There are many types of Water Mold, and the different species have different ways of producing. The ones that produce sexually have specialized regions that produce specific male or female parts. These parts, also known as gametes, are specific to the phyla Oomycetes.

Reproduction

Water Mold is unique in the sense that it can reproduce both sexually and asexually. This process can be as simple as a division of a sporangium into individual motile, flagellated spores, or as intricate as a sexual process. [3]The sporangium is a special structure that forms on the sporangiophore. This structure is what causes asexual reproduction.[4] The word "Oomycota" actually means "egg fungi", and refers to the large, round oogonia containing the female gametes. This special part is what enables some Water Mold to reproduce sexually. Water Mold is oogamous, meaning it produces large non-motile gametes called eggs, and small gametes called sperm.[5]The process begins between two dissimilar gamentangia. There is a large round oogonium containing one to several eggs, and the smaller antheridium that fertilizes the eggs.[6] Since the two major types of Water Mold species are Chytrid and Oomycete, there are also different ways in which they reproduce.

The Chytrids rerpoduction can be a very simple division, or the more complicated processes of actual reproduction. The Oomycetes have distinct parts that are male and female. These parts aid in the process of reproduction. In addition to this process, they are also able to reproduce asexually.[7]

Ecology

The two major species types of Water Mold have different environments that they are accustomed to. The Chytrids live mostly in salt and freshwater. They may also live in moist soil. The Oomycetes prefer a more aquatic environment. Others may live in water in certain stages of the life cycle. In general, Water Mold thrives on decaying plant and animal material, or parasitic foods, such as fungi, plants, and algae. By eating these foods, the organism gets the metabolic energy needed to function properly.[8]They also absorb their food from the surrounding water or soil. They can invade the body of another organism for food, but this is where problems can occur.[9] Diseases and other problems are created from this type of interaction. In addition to the conditions already listed, Water Mold is highly productive in areas of high humidity and running surface water. It is in places like this, that the organisms has the best opportunity to carry on growth and a healthy life cycle.

The Cause of the Great Potato Famine

The Great Potato Famine which lasted from 1845 to 1849 was one of the most troublesome times for the country of Ireland. The people were forced to abandon food which they needed for their families. For many years the cause of this extreme breakout was uncertain. It wasn't until many years later that scientists found the cause to be Water Mold. They discovered that certain parasitic types of Water Mold cause downy mildew. This mildew causes diseases in things like grapes, and late blight of potatos.[10] Although this could not change what had already happened, the people were relieved to have found the cause of this terrible outbreak.

Water Mold usually just poses as a pest to most of us, but there are many types that can cause some serious problems. The parasitic forms are the ones that have the most damaging affects on our society. Some of the problems it can cause range from sudden oak death syndrome to blue mold of tobacco. Along with this, it can cause disease of fish and fish eggs.[11]It is important that fish and other products susceptible to the diseases produced by Water Mold be thoroughly checked. Taking the time to take this small step is crucial because the consequences otherwise could be costly.


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