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(singular = fungus) Mushrooms, molds, mildews, rusts, and smuts that are small nonchlorophyll-bearing plantlike organisms lacking roots, stems, and leaves. They have distinct nuclei surrounded by nuclear membranes as well as other specialized functional cell parts but cannot carry on photosynthesis. They occur in natural waters and grow best in the absence of light. Their decomposition may cause objectionable tastes and odors in water.