If a fungus releases its digestive enzymes outside its body, how does it protect itself from digestion? How do fungi growing nearby protect themselves?

I have tried searching this on google but couldn't get an answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Which fungi secret proteases? $\endgroup$ – Chris Apr 8 '14 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ usually they do not, but rather ingest via clathrin coated pits I think. then the proteases are found in a compartment called the proteome. $\endgroup$ – shigeta Apr 8 '14 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ I think you mean the proteasome. $\endgroup$ – Chris Apr 8 '14 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ You would also be interested in fungal autolysis or self digestion. Please refer to the paper "The autolysis of industrial filamentous fungi." PMID: 11958333 $\endgroup$ – The Last Word May 7 '14 at 5:20

In general fungal cell walls are resistant to whatever enzymes or compounds they are excreting to break material down for consumption. Conceptually, it is a little like your stomach lining being resistant to stomach acid. For a more detailed answer you may have to head over to your local university and find a Mycologist.

There is ongoing research on how fungi actually "eat." You can look up fungal endocytosis if you wish to research it more. There may be other mechanisms as Shigeta mentions.

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