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(Gr. askos: wineskin; mykês: fungus) A large phylum of fungi (over 30 000 species), formerly classified as a class (Ascomycetes) or a subdivision (Ascomycotina). It includes the yeasts, some species of edible fungi (truffles), Penicillium, Aspergillus and Claviceps purpurea, which causes ergot in rye. Many are fungal partners of lichens. These fungi are known as the sac fungi because their spores are formed in a saclike structure (called an ascus). Sexual reproduction is by means of ascospores produced within the ascus. The asci are usually grouped together in an ascocarp. Syn. Ascomycotina, Ascomycetes.


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The Phylum Ascomycota is further organized into finer groupings including:


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Arthoniomycetes are a class of ascomycete fungi. It includes the single order Arthoniales. Most of the taxa in this class are tropical and subtropical lichens. [more]


The Ascomycota are a Division/Phylum of the kingdom Fungi, and subkingdom Dikarya. Its members are commonly known as the Sac fungi. They are the largest phylum of Fungi, with over 64,000 species. The defining feature of this fungal group is the "ascus" (from Greek: ?s??? (askos), meaning "sac" or "wineskin"), a microscopic sexual structure in which nonmotile spores, called ascospores, are formed. However, some species of the Ascomycota are asexual, meaning that they do not have a sexual cycle and thus do not form asci or ascospores. Previously placed in the Deuteromycota along with asexual species from other fungal taxa, asexual (or anamorphic) ascomycetes are now identified and classified based on morphological or physiological similarities to ascus-bearing taxa, and by phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequences. [more]




Dothideomycetes is the largest and most diverse class of ascomycete fungi. It comprises 11 orders 90 families, 1300 genera and over 19,000 known species. Traditionally, most of its members were included in the loculoascomycetes, which is not part of the currently accepted classification. This indicates that several traditional morphological features in the class are not unique and DNA sequence comparisons are important to define the class. [more]


The Eurotiomycetes is a class of ascomycetes within the subphylum Pezizomycotina. [more]


Hyphomycetes is an obsolete class of fungi in the equally obsolete phylum Deuteromycota that lack fruiting bodies. Most hyphomycetes have now been assigned to the Ascomycota, mainly as a result of DNA sequencing, but many remain unassigned. Identification of hyphomycetes is primarily based on microscopic morphology including: conidial morphology, especially septation, shape, size, color and cell wall texture, the arrangement of conidia as they are borne on the conidiogenous cells (e.g. if they are solitary, , blastocatenate, basocatenate, or gloiosporae), the type conidiogenous cell (e.g. non-specialized or hypha-like, phialide, annellide, or sympodial), and other additional features such as the presence of sporodochia or synnemata. [more]




The Laboulbeniomycetes are a unique group of fungi that are apparent external parasites of insects and other arthropods, both terrestrial and aquatic. These fungi are minute; their fruiting bodies commonly measure less than one millimeter. They live on the antennae, the mouthparts or other body regions of their arthropod hosts. Although several species of Laboulbeniomycetes have more or less extensive, root-like hyphal systems (haustoria) inside their hosts, as a group these fungi are apparently harmless to the animals they live on. These fungi are usually apparent only on adult hosts; apparently immature arthropods eliminate them during ecdysis (adult arthropods no longer molt). Some fungi in the Laboulbeniomycetes have separate female and male individuals, like Herpomyces. [more]


Lecanoromycetes is the largest class of lichenized fungi. It belongs to the subphylum Pezizomycotina in the phylum Ascomycota. The asci (spore-bearing cells) of the Lecanoromycetes most often release spores by rostrate dehiscence. [more]




Lichinomycetes are a class of ascomycete fungi. It includes the single order Lichinales. Most species are lichenized. [more]


Orbiliomycetes are a class of fungi in the Ascomycota. It includes the single order Orbiliales, which in turn includes the single family Orbiliaceae. [more]


Pezizomycetes are a class of fungi within the phylum Ascomycota. [more]


Saccharomycetes is a class in the kingdom of fungi. It contains the order Saccharomycetales, the budding yeasts. Hemiascomycetes is a more or less synonymous name. [more]


Schizosaccharomycetes is a class in the kingdom of fungi. It contains the order Schizosaccharomycetales, the fission yeasts. [more]


The Sordariomycetes are a class of fungi in the subdivision Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota), consisting of 15 orders, 64 families, 1119 genera, and 10564 species. [more]


The Taphrinomycetes are a class of ascomycete fungi belonging to the subdivion Taphrinomycotina. It includes the single order Taphrinales, which includes 2 families, 8 genera and 140 species. [more]

At least 356 species and subspecies belong to the Class Taphrinomycetes.

More info about the Class Taphrinomycetes may be found here.


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Last Revised: October 03, 2013
2013/10/03 15:39:53