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Related to Basidomycetes: Deuteromycetes, Zygomycetes


a phylum of the kingdom FungiFungi
, kingdom of heterotrophic single-celled, multinucleated, or multicellular organisms, including yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. The organisms live as parasites, symbionts, or saprobes (see saprophyte).
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A phylum in the kingdom fungi; commonly known as basidiomycetes. Basidiomycetes traditionally included four artificial classes: Hymenomycetes, Gasteromycetes, Urediniomycetes, and Ustilaginomycetes. They are mostly filamentous fungi characterized by the production of basidia. These are microscopic, often club-shaped end cells in which nuclear fusion and meiosis usually take place prior to the maturation of external, typically haploid basidiospores, which are then disseminated. Common basidiomycetes are the rusts and smuts, which cause severe plant diseases, mushrooms (edible and poisonous), boletes, puffballs, stinkhorns, chanterelles, false truffles, jelly fungi, bird's-nest fungi, and conk or bracket fungi. Basidiomycetes are the most important decayers of wood, living or dead, in forests or buildings, causing either brown rot (for example, dry rot) or white rot. Many, especially mushrooms and boletes, are the primary fungal partners in symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations with tree roots. Plant litter and soil are other major habitats. A few basidiomycetes are cultivated for food. Some are luminescent, hallucinogenic, lichenized, nematophagous, or aquatic. Some are cultivated by ants or termites, or are symbiotic with captured scale insects. Some can convert to a yeast (or single-cell) phase, one of which causes cryptococcosis in humans and animals. See Mushroom, Mycorrhizae, Rust (microbiology)

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