Defining and Classifying Mold
: Mold is a term applied to a large number of fungal species. Considered microbes, molds do not fall into a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping. Rather they are classified in the divisions Zygomycota, Deuteromycota and Ascomycota. Fungi that adopt a single-celled growth habit are called yeasts.Mold Habits and Behavior
: Certain types of mold are capable of causing disease, allergic reaction or rotting food, while others contribute to biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.
Reproducing regularly through small spores, mold spores can remain airborne for an indefinite period of time. Capable of clinging to clothing, animal hair or fur, they are also able to survive under temperature extremes and high pressure.
Molds reproduce by releasing innumerable spores, which constantly float through in and outdoor spaces continually. When they land on a damp spot indoors, they can begin to grow and digesting whatever they are growing on, depending the substance or conditions.
While mold only grow on dead organic matter, it can only be seen without a microscope in the form of a colony which consists of a network of hyphae called a mycelium, capable of transporting organelles.
Interior spaces with high degrees of humidity and temperature can create conditions where mold colonies can exist, most often in the form of a downy or furry coating growing on food, floors or walls.
Not many molds can grow in refrigerators where the temperature is typically around 39 °F. Under these and a range of other conditions, certain species of mold can remain alive in a dormant state before dying off. Tolerance to and behavior in temperature and humidity conditions vary considerably among mold species. Where certain molds can survive in the soil of Antarctica, others can do so under refrigeration, in solvents with high acidity, anti-bacterial soap and even jet fuel.
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