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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 ?
Recognizing filamentous basidiomycetes as agents of human disease: a review.
1995) basidiomycetes have some capacity to produce both the oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes to degrade ligncellulosic susbtrates and most white rot fungi produce these enzymes in order to provide their adaptation to the extremely rich in lignocelluloses.
Highly efficient production of laccase by basidiomycete Pycnoporus cinnabarinus.
Decomposition, nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization from beech leaf litter colonized by ectomycorrhizal or litter decomposing basidiomycetes.
The presence of this basidiomycete in nectar samples was also significantly dependent on year ([chi square] = 9.
Distribution and role of mat-forming saprobic Basidiomycetes in a Tropical Forest, p.
The brown rot basidiomycetes cause the most destructive type of wood decay and are important contributors to biomass recycling.
II: The Identification of teonanacatl, a narcotic Basidiomycete of the Aztecs.
According to Skelley (1988), a wide variety of basidiomycete fungi serve as a host to the family; however, each species seems to be specific to a particular group of fungi.
In the culture, the appearance of fruiting bodies, the visualization of septate hyaline hyphae with clamp connections (fibulas) and the presence of spicules facilitate identification of this basidiomycete.