Arctic Life/Arctic Fungi/Morphology

From Arctic Bioscan Wiki
Mass of fungal hyphae. Photo courtesy of Sonali Thimmiah

The body of a fungus is made up of finely branched tubes called hyphae, which are collectively referred to as a fungal thallus or mycelium. Hyphal cells are long and thread-like. Their cell walls are composed of chitin, a long carbohydrate polymer that is also the main component of insect and crustacean exoskeletons. It provides the strength and rigidity needed for fungal hyphae to penetrate rock substrates and soil surfaces.