A Very Special Fungi
One distinctive feature that separates
Basidiomycetes from other fungi is the
production of basidia. The basidium is club-
shaped and responsible for spore production.
The spores produced are referred to as
basidiospores. Basidia are important in that they
are the place where both karyogamy and
meiosis take place. The basidia form on gills and
therefore the mushroom cap itself serves as
protection for this important reproductive
Round, It Has No End...
are dispersed from the gills and germinate, they form haploid
hyphae. Next, the haploid hyphae find a mating pair, undergo
plasmogamy, and are then dikaryotic mycelium. When
conditions are right, discussed in the
habitat section, the fruiting body of Lentinula edodes will
form. The basidia are produced on the gills of the mushroom.
When the two nuclei fuse together, karyogamy occurs.
The nucleus, which is then diploid goes through meiosis. The
haploid spores are then in the basidia and can be dispelled by the
wind. From there, the life cycle of the Shiitake starts all
Here is a close up look at
the basidium... a structure that makes the Shiitake and other
basidiomycetes so unique.
Copyright: Charles Mims
cycle of the Shiitake mushroom
Image Provided By: Tom Volk