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Sexual Spore Fruit in Fungi


It is the spore fruit produced by the fungi belonging to the sub-division. Ascomycotina Sexual spore produced endogenously are known as Ascospores in sac like structure called ascus. The spore fruit are of various forms viz. Spherical shaped, flask, cup, saucer and pod shaped etc.

Following are the different types of Ascocarps:

1. Cleistothecium:

It is closed without ostiole, round to oval ascocarp with irregularity arranged or scattered asci having dark brown to black colour and provided with appendages to anchors or to hold fast and to help in asseiantion. Cleistothecium breaks open at maturity by wear and tear. E.g. Powdery mildew fungi of order Erysiphales.

2. Apothecium:

A cup or saucer shaped spore fruit with broad opening is known as Apothecium. The asci are arranged in palisade layer called hymenium. The asci arranged in palisade layer called hymenium. The Apothecium is usually fleshy and leathery in nature. E.g. Sclerotinia.

 3. Perithecium:

A flask shaped ascocarp with narrow neck like having ostiole through which asci are released. The asci are arranged or lined the inner wall of the Perithecium. The sterile structures present in between the asci known as paraphyses which help asci in nutrition and dispersion. 
E.g. Claviceps and Glomerella.

4. Ascostroma:

The asci formed directly in a locule or cavity within at Stroma. The forms the wall of the ascocarp.


These are the fructification of sub-division, Basidiomycotina and consist of mushroom, bracket fungi, and puff balls. They are highly developed and have a compound structure, may be flllleshy leathery woody ocial r waxy in nature and bear spehesexualcial structures variously known as gills pores needles and chambers. The sexual spores known as Basidiospores which are usually 4 in number. The basidia are intermingled with sterile structures called paraphyses. The cell slightly larger than basidia intermingled hymenial layer is known as cystidia.

1. Puff balls:

It is round or spherical , very small to big basidiocarp , commonly found on dead organic matter. The Basidiospores are produced in the hymenium which lines the inner surface. On maturity Basidiospores are given off, in the form of puff or smoke. The puff balls have got small stalk at the base. 

2. Bracket Fungi:

A compound fructification growing on dead tree trunks. These are woody and hard basidiocarp. They are typically bracket, hoof or saddle shaped and highly coloured. They are borne on short stalk. The hymenial layer is found on the honey comb fashioned pores in which basidia and Basidiospores are observed.

3. Mushrooms:

These are the fleshy or leathery compound fruictification with variously coloured, commonly found on manure pits, dung heaps and on any rich organic matter. They are borne on stalk and provided with gills and pores to the underside which contains hymenial layer. The mushroom may be edible and non-edible or poisonous. E .g. Agaricus sp.

The spore fruits are important in tiding over unfavourable conditions, multiplication and maintenance of inoculum. The spore fruit are utilized as taxonomic characters in determining the broad lines of various groups of fungi.

Current Category » Introductory Plant Pathology