Caution Chlorophyllum molybdites present


Risqué Reproduction

We often think of fungi as the white puffy things above the surface, however most of it actually lives underground. The mycelium is made up of hyphae (threadlike filaments) that connect to dead things in the soil or with tree roots. What we see above ground is only found when the mushroom is ready to reproduce sexually. This is also called the fruiting body. Like plants, fungi have alternation of generations. Many phylums can reproduce asexually, however basidiomycota cannot reproduce asexually.

                                        Fungi have sex?!

Yes, they do, here's a bit more information about how they reproduce! The mushroom gills are lined with cells called basidia used to reproduce by making spores. Two haploid nuclei fuse together by karyogamy to form a diploid nucleus. This happens in the mature mushroom represented in the picture below and to the right by (1). This stage then undergoes meiosis to produce four haploid cells which migrate into the basidiospores  which are then released by the wind to land in other areas. These basidiospores then undergo mitosis to produce hyphae that make up a mycelium (5). Two of these different mycelium then come together by plasmogamy (7). Plasmogamy is when two cells share cytoplasm but their nuclei do not combine. There are two sets of DNA and nuclei living in one cell during this stage, termed dikaryon. After a lot of growth this dikaryon mycelium gives rise to basidiocarps (10). This completes the life cycle and another mushroom can be seen (1).


This is just a general overview of a Basidomycota life cycle. C. molybdites may have some smaller details that are different, but for the most part all of the species follow this life cycle because they get classified by how they reproduce.












The picture to the left is an immature mushroom before it has started to flatten out. The picture to the right is showing the extensive gills of a mature mushroom. These gills have big indentations to try and maximize their surface area for spore dispersal.

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