Classification of Fungi into 5 Phyla flow chart with Examples

 Classification of Fungi into 5 Phyla

Lets us begin with definition of fungus.

Fungi are microscopic or macroscopic, eukaryotic, haploid, non-chlorophyllated, spore bearing, filamentous, heterotrophic thallophytes which reproduce asexually and sexually.

Which are the 5 phyla of fungi?

This classification is based on mode of reproduction and Molecular data which include DNA sequence comparison and 18S rRNA (ribosomal RNA). 18S rRNA is widely used as  fungal phylogenetic markers for classification

Classification of Fungi into 5 Phyla flow chart with Examples

The 5 Phyla of Eumycota (True fungus) are






1. Chytridiomycota

  • Simplest and most primitive; appeared during the late pre-Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago
  • Mostly aquatic and unicellular
  • Aseptate, coenocytic hyphae
  • Asexual reproduction by zoospores with single flagella
  • Sexual reproduction is rare; if present, gametes are flagellated isogametes
  • Eg: Allomyces, Synchytrium

2. Zygomycota

  • Aseptate coenocytic hyphae 
  • Asexual reproduction by non motile spores produced inside sporangium.
  • Flagellated cells absent
  • Sexual reproduction by gametangial fusion followed by resistant Zygospore formation 
  • Eg: Rhizopus

3. Glomeromycota

  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi,
  • Fungus in symbiotic association with roots of higher plants or bryophytes
  • Coenocytic hyphae
  • Molecular systematic studies suggests that Glomeromycota are the sister group to the Dikarya (basidiomycota and ascomycota)
  • Asexual reproduction by blastospores.
  • Sexual reproduction absent
  • Eg: Geosiphon pyriformis
This is the summarized video for better understanding

4. Ascomycota (Sac fungus)

  • Called as Sac fungi as sexual ascospores are formed inside a sac like structure called ascus.
  •  Septate, well developed mycelium
  •  Asexual reproduction by nonmotile conidia, flagellated cells absent.
  • Sexual reproduction by ascospores (often 8 in number)
  • Ascocarp or fruiting body may be  apothecium (cup shaped as in Peziza), Perithecium (flask shaped as in Xylaria) or cleistothecium (closed as in Penicillium)
  • Eg: Saccharomyces, Penicillium, Peziza

5. Basidiomycota (Club fungus)

  • Most abundant and advanced group of fungus
  • Called as club fungi as basidiospores are formed on club shaped structure called basidium
  • Septate well developed mycelium with dolipore septum; a special type of septum.
  •  Asexual reproduction by non-motile exogenously produced conidia.
  • Sexual reproduction by basidiospores formed on basidia
  • Eg: Agaricus, Puccinia

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