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The general characteristics of Ascomycetes are:

  1. Ascomycetes are commonly called as the sac fungi.
  2. Ascomycetes are haploid fungi.
  3. The mycelium is branched and septate with each segment having several nuclei.
  4. The Ascomycetes have dikaryon phase in the life cycle.
  5. The female gametangium is called as the ascogonium and the male gametangium is known as the antheridium.
  6. The spores are produced inside a small sac like structure called ascus. The spores produced by the ascus are called as the ascospores. The ascus contains 8 ascospores.
  7. The ascus becomes grouped to form the multicellular fruiting body called ascocarp which is enveloped by a sheath of sterile hyphae.
  8. There are three types of ascocarps: i. Cleistothecium, ii. Perithecium, iii. Apothecium.
  9. Ascomycetes members contain both the saprotrophs and parasite fungus.
  10. Ascomycetes reproduce by vegetative, asexual and sexual means.
  11. Asexual reproduction occurs by fission, fragmentation, Chlamydospores or conidia formation.
  12. Conidia arise from the somatic hyphae or the hyphal branches known as the conidiophores.
  13. Sexual reproduction occurs by means of fusion of similar or dissimilar hyphae or cells.
  14. The ascospores are formed by karyogamy and meiosis.
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