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Club fungi

Phylum Basidiomycota

  • Examples include mushrooms, toadstools, shelf fungi, coral fungi, jelly fungi, stink horns, rusts, smuts, earth stars, and fairy rings
  • Called club fungi or basidiomycetes
  • Major decomposers of plant litter
    • mycelium (=body of fungus) creeps along digesting plant material
  • Basidiomycete mycelium have crosswalls (=septate); crosswalls are perforated
  • Life cycle exhibits both monokaryotic (1 nucleus per cell) & dikaryotic (2 nuclei per cell) phases through haplontic life cycle
    1. If monokaryotic hyphae come in contact with hyphae from another basidiomycete, then the cells will fuse (plasmogamy), but not the nuclei in the cells
      • This creates cells with two nuclei (=dikaryotic or binucleate)
    2. These fused fungi will begin to produce a large fruiting body, called a basidioma, such as a mushroom
      • e.g. toadstool
    3. Just before fertilization, microscopic clamp connections will connect two cells at the tips of gills
    4. The dikaryotic nuceli will fuse to form a diploid structure called a basidium (plural basidia). This is karyogamy.
    5. The basidium will then go through meiosis to produce haploid spores, which are dispersed into nature
    6. The spores germinate into monokaryotic hyphae

Geologic Age: Devonian - present

Unikonta - single flagellum organisms
Opisthokonta - fungi, animals, and others
Phylum Basidiomycota - Club Fungi


Hymenomycetes” - Class Basidomycetes, e.g. Coprinus or Agaricus
"Gasteromycetes” - Class Basidomycetes
Rust/Smuts - Classes Teliomycetes and Ustomycetes

Additional Resources:
Above: diagram of a basidum
Below: life cycle of basidiomycetes

Below: fairy ring around a pine tree
Above: cap fungus or toadstool basidioma (hymenomycete)

Above: Jelly fungus basidioma (hymenomycete)
Below: Coral fungus basidioma (hymenomycete)
Above: Stink horn basidioma (gasteromycete)
Below: puffball basioma (gasteromycete)
Above: earth star basidioma (gasteromycete)
Below: Bird's nest fungus (gasteromycete)
apple cedar rust (teliomycete)
Below: Maize smut fungus (ustomycete)

Abovewhite pine blister rust (teliomycete)
Below: Wheat bunt smut (ustomycete)