The reproduction

Fungi consist of one division only, the Eumycota, which is divided into four classes: zygomycetes, ascomycetes, basidiomycetes (which includes most edible mushrooms) and deuteromycetes. They are divided by their cellular features and sexual reproduction methods, which occur through the recombination of genetic material. Most fungi reproduce alternately through asexual and sexed methods. Asexual reproduction occurs in two ways:

  • by fragmentation of the hyphae (the filaments that compose the fungus). Every fragment becomes a new individual;
  • by structures known as sporangia. When a sporangium disintegrates, asexual spores are released and carried away by the air. In suitable environmental conditions, they originate new masses of hyphae.

Sexed reproduction begins when two hyphae from different individuals unite into specialised reproductive structures, called gametangia. A cell called zygote from which the new fungus will develop is formed inside these structures. The genetic inheritance from the different hyphae
recombines in the zygote to form a completely new one.

Special reports

  • 5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

    3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

    27 September 2012

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population...

  • 31 August 2013

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic...

    15 September 2021

    Can you be intelligent without a brain?

    Can you be intelligent without a brain? The answer is "in a certain sense, yes" and this is demonstrated by…

    26 July 2021

    Japanese beetles and other alien species

    There is a beetle that has been invading the Italian countryside and cities for some time now, a small insect…

  • 16 June 2021

    A turtle’s life

    World Sea Turtle Day is held on 16 June. First established in 2008, the day is now supported by Sea…

    10 June 2021

    The world below

    Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a famous science fiction novel written by the great Jules Verne in…

    29 April 2021

    Etruscan shrews, ferocity in miniature

    Which is the tiniest micromammal, i.e. the smallest mammal on the planet? Up until almost half a century ago, it…

  • 5 February 2010

    Extreme bacteria

    Researchers from the Cnr with Bruno D’Argento and...

  • 3 November 2014

    Conan the bacterium

    Have you ever leafed through the pages of a book of Guinness World Records? You can find records of all…

  • 27 September 2012

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population...

From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • 13 May 2011

    Decomposing organisms

    The ability to destroy organic matter has been used by man...

    Bread and cheese, wine or beer

    Yeast is used to make wine, beer and bread. When mixed with the bread dough...

  • Let’s eat!

    The economic importance of fungi is increased by the “edible” mushrooms...

    Predator mushroom

    <em>Pleutrotus ostreatus</em> mushroom does not have teeth or claws but it is...

  • Who lives well with low oxygen?

    <i><span style="font-style: normal; " class="Apple-style-span"><i><em>Aquandriella fermentas</em> </i>lives in stagnant waters and can stand complete anaerobiosis...</span></i>

    Responsible for fish-plagues

    <em>Sporolegnia parasitica</em> is widely present in estuaries and fish tanks and that...