Systematic Classification of Fungi, Biology tutorial


The categorization of fungi similar to that of bacteria is illustrated mostly for practical application however it as well bears some relation to the phylogenic consideration. The nomenclature is binomial having a generic and particular name (example: Aspergillus niger). Species are gathered in genera, families (suffice-acae), families in order (suffix ales) and order in class (suffix mycetes). The sequence analysis of 185-RNA and specific protein - coding gene has represented that the fungi includes a monophyletic group having eight subdivisions. Four of such subdivisions, the Chytridiomycetes, Zygomycota, Ascomycota and Bsidomycota have been identified as separate groups for some time. The other four: Uredinomycetes, Ustilaginomycetes, Glomeromycota and Microsporidia have been suggested recently as separate groups.

Chytridiomycetes or Chytrids:

Chytridiomycetes or simply chytrids are the most basic and the simplest group of fungi. They are exclusive among fungi as they produce motile zoospore having a single posterior whiplash flagellum. The cell wall is build up of chitin. A few exist as single cell whereas other form colonies along with hyphae. A few are free living and found living on animal and plant matter in fresh water, soil or mud. The others are parasitic and infect aquatic plant and animal comprising insects. They display a diversity of life cycles comprising both sexual and asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction generally comprises production of sporangiospores from sporangia.

From the zoospore morphology, the orders having the Chytridiomycetes comprise Monoblepharidales, Blastocladiales, Neocallimasticales, Spizellomycetales and the Chytridiales.


The Zygomycota are made up of fungi termed as Zygomycetes. They are generally found in soil and on decaying plant materials. All are multinucleate (that is, coenocytic). Asexual spores build up in sporangia at the tip of aerial hypae and are generally dispersed through wind. Sexual reproduction generates tough, thick walled zygotes termed as zygospores which can remain dormant if the environment is too harsh for growth of the fungus. The bread mould Rhizopus stolonifer is much common member of this division, the fungus grows on the moist, carbohydrate-rich foods like vegetables and bread.


Members of the group are termed as Ascomycetes, generally known as sac fungi. These ascomycetes are big and highly diverse groups of fungi ranging from the single-celled species like yeast (Saccharomyces) to the species which are filamentous such as Neurospora.

The ascomycetes gained their names from the production of asci (singular, ascus) cells in which two haploid nuclei from dissimilar mating kinds come altogether and fuse, making a diploid nucleus which experiences meiosis to form haploid ascopores.

Asexual reproduction in ascomycetes is through the production of conidia made at the tip of specialized hyphae termed as conidiospore; an illustration of fungi in this group is yeast. Cell division in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) takes place through budding. Throughout the budding procedure, a new cell forms as a small outgrowth of the old cell, the bud steadily enlarges and separates from the parent cell. Sexual reproduction as well comprises ascus formation by each ascus generally bearing eight haploid ascospores.


The Basidiomycota comprise the Basidiomycetes, generally termed as club fungi. Illustrations comprise jelly fungi, toadstools, puffballs and mushrooms. They are named for their feature structure cell, the basidium, which is comprised. A basidium is generated at the tip of hyphae and is generally club shaped. Two or more basidiospores are generated by the basidium and basidia might be held in fruiting bodies termed as basidiocarps. The basidiomycetes influence humans in numerous ways. Most of them are saprobes which decompose plant debris, example: cellulose and lignin, example: Polyporus squamosus. Some are utilized as food, example: the mushroom.  Agaricus campestris though some similar to Crytococcus, Neoformans are significant human and animal pathogens.


The glomeromycetes are a relatively small group of fungi having main ecological significance. Only around 160 species of glomeromycetes are presently known. All acknowledged species of glomeromycetes form endomycorrhizae, as well termed as arbuscular mycorrhizae with the roots of herbaceous plants. They help the plant acquisition of materials from the soil. They produce merely asexually and are mainly coenocytic in their morphology. There is mutualistic relationship among the fungus, the fungus help in protecting the plant from stress and deliver soil nutrients to the plant that in turn gives carbohydrates to the fungi.


These are tiny (2 to 5µm), unicellular parasite of animals and protists. They have been considered protists and are at times cited as such. Molecular analysis of the ribosomal RNA and specific protein like α- and β-tubulin exhibits that they are most closely associated to fungi. Though, dissimilar fungi, they are deficient in peroxisomes, mitochondria and centriols. They are obligate parasites which infect fish, insects and human in specific they infect immunosuppressed individuals like those with HIV/AIDS; an illustration is Enterocystozoa spp that causes pneumonia and diarrhea. It reproduces asexually through spore formation. 

Uredinomycetes and Ustilaginomycetes:

Both the uredinomycetes and ustilaginomycetes comprise plant pathogens causing smuts and rust. A few uredinomycetes comprise human pathogens. They are frequently considered basidomycota. Both dissimilar the basidomycota, they don't form large basidocarps rather small basidia occur from hyphae at the surface of the host plant. The hyphae grow either intracellular or extracellularly in the plant tissue. A good illustration is Ustilago maydis, a general corn pathogen which causes smuts.

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