General characteristics of Basidiomycetes:
- Members of it occur as saprophytes or parasites.
- Mycelium is well developed, branched and septate. It possesses a minute pore in the center and is known as dolipore septum.
- There are 2 kinds of mycelium i.e. primary mycelium and secondary mycelium.
- Primary mycelium is formed by the germination of basidiospores.
- Secondary mycelium or dikaryotic cell is formed by the fusion of 2 primary mycelium of opposite mating types.
- The dikaryotic cell is formed during sexual reproduction.
- Four basidiospores arise from a basidium and they are exogenous in origin.
Those fungi in which perfect stage (sexual reproduction) is unknown or absent but reproduce by the only asexual method are called fungi imperfecti and are placed in form class Deuteromycetes. The members of it reproduce asexually by means of conidia or chlamydospores. Generally, conidia are produced externally on conidiophores arises directly from the mycelium. Sometimes conidiophores are produced in special fruiting bodies, like pycnidia, synnemata, or acervuli.