The study of fungi is calledmycology. It referred to the study of genome of fungi, their biochemicalproperties, their taxonomy and their impact on human life. Fungi play an importantrole in our everyday life. Form food and drinks production to live savingpharmaceutical compounds and enzymes, this wide group plays an important role. Theyalso plays important role in production of vitamins, lipids, alcohols,polysaccharides and different pigments. Some fungal secondary metabolites arevery important for human health. The development of recombinant DNA technologyand genomic analysis have increased the scope of yeasts and filamentous fungiin different industries including food and beverage industries andpharmaceuticals. Edible filamentous fungi which produce important enzymes addadvantage while using in edible purpose.
Due to importance of fungi forhuman some of the fungi are studied extensively like saccharomyces cerevisiae which is widely used in food industry. Other thansaccharomyces and other model fungi, there are still almost 5 millionfungal species whose importance is still to be discovered. Food Applications Useful Products Other Processes Baking Alkaloids Biobleaching/biopulping Brewing Antibiotics Biological control agents Cheese-making Ethanol Bioremediation of soils Mushroom cultivation Enzymes Coal solubilisation Oriental food fermentations Gibberellins Dyes/dye intermediates Quorn myco-protein Immunomodulators Microencapsulation Organic acids Mycorrhizal inoculants Polysaccharides Steroid bioconversions Vitamins Waste treatment PATHOGENIC FUNGI:Pathogenic fungi are referredto those species of fungi which cause diseases in human beings, plants, animalsand other organisms. The study of these disease causing fungi is called medicalmycology.
In 1835 a scientist named Bassidiscovered a fungal disease caused by fungi Beauveriabassiana which cause disease in silk worm. In 1910, a scientist namedRaymond Sabouraud study dermatophytic fungi which is a disease causing fungi.He is named as father of medical mycology. There are certain properties offungi which make them capable of causing diseases in organisms.
Three of themain properties are the adaptability of fungi to host tissues, survival at lowoxidation reduction state and capsule around them. Pathogenic fungi generallycause pathogenesity by invading the cell or tissue i.e. they are intracellularpathogens. The fungal diseases are mostly observed in immune-compromisedorganisms.
Generally fungi are pathogenic or saprophytic to plants. Theinfection to human by fungi is not common. It occurs only when favorableconditions for fungal growth are present. In human beings the body showsgreat resistance or immunity when any fungal infection occur. These fungalinfections can be broadly divided into two categories; environmentally acquiredor endogenously acquired. Aspergillusfumigates grow in compost or soil and a person get infected if he inhalethe fungal spore present in the soil. While on other hand Candida albicans cause invasive infection infecting person’s owngastrointestinal cells.
The systemic fungal infections usually lead topulmonary infections. Common areas in human where fungal infections are seenare hair, nails and skin. ABILITIES OF FUNGI TO CAUSEPATHOGENECITY:· Resist phagocytosis bydeveloping capsule around them.· To nourish themselves bytaking iron from host’s blood.· Produce some uniqueenzymes to resist host’s immune response.· Mycotoxin secretions.
· Suppress cell mediatedimmune system of host.· Produce enzymes whichdestroy host’s cellFUNGAL DISEASES:Some fungal diseases are;· Tinea infections · Candidiasis by differentspecies of Candida· Histoplasmosis caused byHistoplasma capsulatum· Coccidioidomycosis alsoknown as valley fever caused by Coccidioides.BIOTECHNOLOGICAL APPROCHES TOCONTROL FUNGAL PATHOGENS:There are different approachesattained for protection of organism from fungal pathogens. Approaches followedin plants are different from animals.
This is because of two main reasons. Onethe difference in metabolic pathways and second is difference in fungalspecies. Some biotechnological aspects for control of plant pathogens are;· Increase resistancetowards fungal pathogens in plants.· Increase the productionof glucanases and chitinases enzymes in plants which shows antifungal activity.Both of these enzymes belong to PR protein family i.
e. Pathogenesis relatedproteins.· Enhancement of geneswhich produce phytoalixens which acts as toxin for foreign pathogenic fungus.· Over-expressing thegenes which enhance plant’s structural defense mechanism.Some different biotechnologicaltechniques are applied in animals for control of fungal pathogenic diseases.Unlike plants, the techniques applied in animals also have some ethicalconcerns. Some biotechnological approaches are;· Increase immunization inanimals. This could be done by different ways.
Enhancing the product of thosegenes which are responsible for animal’s immune response or injection of someimmune boosting injections. This will help in disease prevention rather thandisease control. · Specialized moleculardiagnostic techniques developed with the help of biotechnology helps inidentification of actual cause of disease and exactly where that pathogen isaffecting. This will help in designing specific treatment for specificpathogeneic fungus.
· Developing liveattenuated vaccines for fungal diseases also helps in protection of an animalfrom diseases. · Increasing stability ofan animal against fungal pathogen with the help of recombinant vaccines. CONCLUSION: Biotechnology is providing a whole new horizonfor development of resistance from different diseases. Some of these includethose diseases which were not cured previously.
Biotechnology doesn’t onlyprovide cure to diseases but also provide control. This helps in alteration ofgenes that result in protection of organism from different pathogens. It couldbe because of gene producing any protein which kill pathogen or enhance theorganism’s structure so pathogen cannot enter the body. There could be otherways too. Genetically altered animals or plants don’t only show resistancetowards pathogen but can also be helpful for human for food and feed purpose.