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  • Mildew


    Example of downy mildew (left) along with powdery mildew (right) on a grape leaf Unidentified species of mildew growing on a plastic shower curtain (scale gradations = 11 µm)Mildew is a form of fungus. It is distinguished from its closely related counterpart, mold (British English: mould), largely by its color: moulds appear in shades of black, blue, red, and green, whereas mildew is white. It appears as a thin, superficial growth consisting of minute hyphae (fungal filaments) produced especially on living plants or organic matter such as wood, paper or leather. Both mould and mildew produce distinct offensive odors, and both have been identified as the cause of certain human ailments. In horticulture, mildew is either species of fungus in the order Erysiphales, or fungus-like organisms in the family Peronosporaceae. It is also used more generally to mean mould growth. In Old English, mildew meant honeydew (a substance secreted by aphids on leaves, formerly thought to distill from the air like dew), and later came to mean mould or fungus.

  • Wood-decay fungus


    Wood decay caused by Serpula lacrymans (called true dry rot, a type of brown-rot) A wood-decay fungus is any species of fungus that digests moist wood, causing it to rot. Some species of wood-decay fungi attack dead wood, such as brown rot, and some, such as Armillaria (honey fungus), are parasitic and colonize living trees. Excessive moisture above the fibre saturation point in wood is required for fungal colonization and proliferation. Fungi that not only grow on wood but permeate its fibrous structure and actually cause decay, are called lignicolous fungi. In nature, this process causes the breakdown of complex molecules and leads to the return of nutrients to the soil. Various lignicolous fungi consume wood in various ways; for example, some attack the carbohydrates in wood and some others decay lignin. The rate of decay of wooden materials in various climates can be estimated by empirical models. Wood-decay fungi can be classified according to the type of decay that they cause. The best-known types are brown rot, soft rot, and white rot. Each produce different enzymes, can degrade different plant materials, and can colonise different environmental niches. The residual products of decomposition from fungal action have variable pH, solubility and redox potentials. Over time this residue will become incorporated in the soil and sediment, so can have a noticeable effect on the environment of that area.

  • Indoor mold


    Indoor mold on the head jamb of the window in multi storey building.Mold (American English) or mould (British English), also sometimes referred to as mildew, is a fungal growth that develops on wet materials. Mold is a natural part of the environment and plays an important part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees; indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Mold reproduce by means of tiny spores. The spores are like seeds, but invisible to the naked eye, that float through the air and deposit on surfaces. When the temperature, moisture, and available nutrient conditions are correct, the spores can form into new mold colonies where they are deposited. There are many types of mold, but all require moisture and a food source for growth.

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