Ascus Fungi Classification Kingdom- Fungi Division- Ascomycota Division Description: The ascomycetes are the largest and most diverse subdivision of the true fungi, with members ranging from yeasts to truffles to Dutch Elm Disease to Penicillium.  Despite this diversity, the vast majority of these fungi are microscopic in character and do not produce visible fruiting bodies.  Ascomycetes can be found on all continents and many members are cosmopolitan in distribution.  Members of this division can reproduce sexually through the production of ascospores or asexually through conidia.  The defining character of the Ascomycota is the presence of a reproductive structure called an ascus, which is roughly analogous to the basidium of the Basidiomycota, albeit with karyogamy occuring separately in a cell called an ascogonium. Depending on species, a single ascus may contain anywhere from one to thousands of spores, with eight being most common.  The primary spore dispersal mechanism for ascomycete species is wind, although water and animals are also utilized by some species. Ascomycete Subdivisions Included on this Website: Pezizomycotina -  This subdivision contains almost all of the ascomycete species which produce fruiting bodies visible to the naked eye.  Members are hyphal, with sexually reproducing forms producing ascomata.
Rene Chelune
rcheln at
last updated 2 July 2008

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