The yeast plant and its allies are saprophytes and form no chlorophyll.
These they obtain usually in the form of carbohydrates from the dead remains of other organisms, or in this or other forms from the living cells of their hosts; in the former case they are termed saprophytes, in the latter parasites.
Most genera are saprophytes, but some - Chaetocladium, Piptocephalis - are parasites on other Mucorini, and one or two are associated casually with the rotting of tomatoes and other fruits, bulbs, &c., the fleshy parts of which are rapidly destroyed if once the hyphae gain entrance.
Some fungi, though able to live as saprophytes, occasionally enter the body of living plants, and are thus termed facultative parasites.
An epiphytic fungus is not necessarily a parasite, however, as many saprophytes (moulds, &c.) germinate and develop a loose mycelium on living leaves, but only enter and destroy the tissues after the leaf has fallen; in some cases, however, these saprophytic epiphytes can do harm by intercepting light and air from the leaf (Fumago, &c.), and such cases make it difficult to draw the line between saprophytism and parasitism.
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