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Biology LibreTexts


Kingdom: Fungi

Phylum: Zygomycota

Read the section on Zygomycota in the notes.

Rhizopus (Bread Mold)

Review the life cycle of Rhizopus.

Observe Rhizopus (bread mold) growing on a culture dish. Use a dissecting microscope to see details of the hyphae and sporangia. Is there any evidence of sexual reproduction?

View slides of Rhizopus sporangia and Rhizopus zygotes. 

Rhizopus* sporangia
Rhizopus* zygotes

Phylum: Ascomycota (Sac Fungi)

Read the section on Ascomycota in the notes.

Peziza (Cup Fungi)

Review the life cycle of Peziza (the cup fungus).

Observe preserved Peziza (cup fungus) using a dissecting microscope.

Observe a slide of  Peziza at scanning, low, and high power magnification. Find an ascus and ascospores on the upper surface (inside the cup).

Peziza* X 40
Peziza* X 200

Observe the conidiophores and conidia (asexual spores) of Aspergillus.


Yeast reproduce asexually by budding, a process where one individual grows from another individual. Make a wet mount of live yeast and see if you can observe budding under high power. If you cannot see yeast budding, view a prepared slide of yeast budding under high power. 

Yeast also reproduce sexually by forming an ascus and eight ascospores. View a slide of Schizosaccharomyces octosporus under high power or oil immersion and find an ascus with ascospores.

Yeast* budding X 1000
X 1000
X 1000
Morchella (Morels)

Observe a preserved specimen of a morel. Asci and ascospores are produced on the surface.

The photo above is courtesy of Michael Lawliss.


Observe Penicillium growing on a culture dish.

Penicillium growing on an agar plate 

Penicillium reproduces asexually. Observe a slide of Penicillium conidiophores under high power. The spores are called conidia.

Penicillium* conidia X 400

Phylum: Basidiomycota (Club Fungi)

Read the section on Basidiomycota.

Observe some representative club fungi on display including mushrooms, puffballs, and bracket fungi.

Bracket fungi
Bracket fungi and lichens

Cut a mushroom to reveal the gills as shown in the photograph below. Basidia and basidiospores form on the gills.

Mushroom cut to
reveal the gills

View a cross section of the cap of a mushroom (Coprinus) showing the gills. Find a basidium and basidiospores.

Coprinus X 400
Coprinus X 1000 showing
basidia and basidiospores
Coprinus X 1000 showing
basidia and basidiospores

Carefully press down on a portion of a puffball until you see a cloud of "smoke" being produced. What is this cloud composed of?

A cloud of basidiospores
produced by a puffball.

Symbiotic Associations of Fungi and Other Organisms


Read the section on lichens in the notes.

Observe the lichens on display. Some lichens have a crust-like appearance (crustose). Others have a shrublike (fruticose) or leaflike (foliose) appearance.

Observe the photographs of lichens below.

Lichens growing on a rock
Lichens growing on a tree
Lichens growing on a tree

Observe a slide of a lichen thallus (c.s.) and identify the fungal hyphae and the photosynthetic (algal) cells.

Lichen thallus
(cross-section X 200)
Lichen thallus X 400


Read the section on mycorrhizae in the notes.

Observe a slide of mycorrhizae in an orchid root.

Fungal hyphae can be seen in this slide of endomycorrhizae in an orchid root. The hyphae penetrate the root cell walls and extend into the soil.