Ascomycota

Abstract

The ascomycetes, the spore sac fungi, are accommodated in the phylum Ascomycota, the largest of the seven phyla of the true fungi with more than 60 000 species. Many are saprobes; others are parasites or live in symbiosis with other organisms. A majority of the lichens are ascomycetes. The ascomycetes are of great economic importance as decomposers of dead material, parasites on crops, producers of antibiotics and other industrial products in food production (bread, beer, wine, etc.).

Keywords: ascomycetes; morphology; phylogeny; subphyla; classes; economic importance

Figure 1.

Apothecia of Neolecta vitellina (Neolectomycetes). Photo: Nada and Zelimir Lipovac.

Figure 2.

Apothecia of Sarcoscypha austriaca (Leotiomycetes). Photo: Nada and Zelimir Lipovac.

Figure 3.

Perithecia of Hypocreopsis riccioidea (Sordariomycetes), immersed in a stroma (only the uppermost parts are visible as small black dots). Photo: Nada and Zelimir Lipovac.

Figure 4.

Cleistothecia of Elaphomyces aculeatus (Eurotiomycetes). Photo: Johan Nitare.

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How to Cite close
Eriksson, Ove E(Dec 2009) Ascomycota. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000346.pub2]