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A class of fungi in the subdivision Eumycetes; important as food and as causal agents of plant diseases.



a class of higher fungi having special reproductive organs, or basidia. The typical mature basidium has four single-cell spores (basidiospores) located in special excrescences, or sterigmata. During germination each basid-iospore puts forth a septate primary (haploid mycelium) or a spawn. Thus, in most basidiomycetes a merging of cells of the same or different (heterothallic) spawns takes place. The diploid mycelium usually develops sexual bodies. (Rust fungi and smut fungi are spore bearing.) Later, meiosis occurs in the basidia (for smut and rust fungi, in the spores); this ends with the formation of usually four nuclei, which migrate to the now-developed basidiospores.

The class Basidiomycetes includes more than 15,000 species. Many of them are edible (for example, birch mushroom, cepe, and peppery lactarius), some are poisonous (fly agaric and death cup), some cause wood rot, and some destroy many agricultural crops. The classification of basidiomycetes is based upon the structural peculiarities of its sexual organs and spore bearing. Basidiomycetes are usually divided into two subclasses: Holobasidiomycetes, which has a single-cell basidium called the holobasidium, and Phragmobasidiomycetes, which has either a four-celled basidium, the so-called phragmobasidium, or a single-cell spheroid, pear-shaped, or elongated dichotomously bifurcate basidium. The subclass Holobasidiomycetes is divided into the following orders: (1) Exobasidiales, without sexual organs and basidia developing on the spawn under the epidermis of the feeding plant (parasites); (2) Aphyl-lophorales; (3) Agaricales; and (4) Gasteromycetales. The subclass Phragmobasidiomycetes is divided into the following orders: (1) Ustilaginales, (2) Uredinales, (3) Au-riculariales, (4) Tremellales, (5) Dacryomycetales, and (6) Tulasnellales. The sexual organs of the latter four orders are mostly of a jelly-like consistency. The phragmobasidia which grow on them are divided into four cells either crosswise, as in the Auriculariales, or lengthwise, as in the Tremellales; or they are single-cell basidia, dichotomously bifurcate, as in the Dacryomycetales, or spherical or pear-shaped, as in the Tulasnellales.


Kursanov, L. I. Mikologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1940.
Bondartsev, A. S. Trutovye griby Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR i Kav-kaza. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.


References in periodicals archive ?
Inoculation with actively growing mycelium of a wood-rotting basidiomycete was also used to simulate a severe aboveground decay hazard in which treated wood is in direct contact with untreated wood that is readily colonized by wood-rotting basidiomycetes.
Effects of elevated temperatures on the survival of Basidiomycetes that colonize untreated Douglas-fir logs.
Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence with laccase sequences of basidiomycetes available in the GenBank database showed higher similarity between the region of copper I and II binding sites at N-terminal end.
No intraspecific variation was detected by ITS-RFLP among the 11 basidiomycete species represented by two to four isolates.
Few basidiomycete species are known to decay wood under very moist conditions, e.
Highly efficient production of laccase by basidiomycete Pycnoporus cinnabarinus.
At the 6-year inspection, termite attack was negligible; however, in 7 of the 10 boxes, a basidiomycete from the soil with strands characteristic of Coniophora spp.
Decomposition, nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization from beech leaf litter colonized by ectomycorrhizal or litter decomposing basidiomycetes.
The brown rot basidiomycetes cause the most destructive type of wood decay and are important contributors to biomass recycling.
Kenzo Koike, a chemist with Kao Corporation's Beauty Research Centre in Tokyo, has isolated an enzyme from a strain of Basidiomycete ceriporiopsis, a type of 'white-rot' fungus that has also shown potential to degrade and clean up pollutants in soil.