Fungus in humus formation:When plant body and animals are dead, they contributes to the big heaps of organic wastes. Agricultural wastage, forest litter, etc. also plays a vital role in organic or bio-waste formation. Almost all fungi along with bacteria are the key of degradation of these organic wastes which makes our environment clean. When fungi degrades such organic wastes, these generates a kind of organic nutrient for plants called humus. All plant nutrients required for growth and development is actually locked in plant and animal bodies in a complex form. Fungi degenerates these and makes them available in simpler form which is called called humus. So, humus is none other than degenerated plant and animal bodies. During the formation of this humus, some amount of Carbon-di-oxide gas (CO2) is also formed, which is utilised by green plants during photosynthesis. Humus is basically a degenerative product of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, proteins, nucleic acid, etc. The major part of the humus consists of Humic acid, Humins, Fulvic acid, etc. Because of it’s nutrient-rich nature, humus maintains physical and chemical properties of soils supporting various biological activities. During humus formation, all those complex organic molecules are degraded in steps. I’ve mentioned below some of complex organic molecules along with the fungi degrading them-
- Cellulose: Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium, Fuscarium, Frichoderma, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Humicola, Phoma, etc.
- Hemicellulose: Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Chaetomium, Glomerella, etc.
- Pactin: Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Rhizopus, Monilia, etc.
- Lignin: Many white rod fungi of Basidiomycotina and many Agaricus.