• Commonly known as sac-fungi, the ascomycetes are mostly multicellular, e.g., Penicillium, or rarely unicellular, e.g., yeast(Saccharomyces)
  • They are saprophytic, decomposers, parasitic or coprophilous (growing on dung). 
  • Mycelium is branched and septate.
  •  The asexual spores are conidia produced exogenously on the special mycelium called conidiophores.
  •  Conidia on germination produce mycelium. Sexual spores are called ascospores which are produced endogenously in sac like asci (singular ascus). These asci are arranged in different types of fruiting bodies called ascocarps.

Ascomycetes examples are Yeast, Pencillium, Erysiphe, Aspergillus, Claviceps and Neurospora. 

  • Yeast used as model organisms. Yeast are rich in enyzmes and vitamins. So they are valubale food and medicine. 
  • Certain species of  Yeast (Candida) cause skin infection and respiratory diseases in man. 
yeast candida
  • Claviceps : Ergotin is a mixture of alkaloids obtained from Claviceps. Drug LSD is also produced from ergots.
  •  Pencillium is economically important ascomycete. Pencillium Chrysogenum and Pencillium notatum are used for the production of the antibiotic, Penicillin. Some other species help to produce favoured cheese (Roquefort Blue Cheese)
  • Neurospora is used extensively in biochemical and genetic work. 
  • Many members like morels and truffles are edible and are considered delicacies.
  • Erysiphe graminicola causes mildew of cereals.
  • Sclerotinia fruticola causes brown rot in pear
Learn more: Fungi Examples
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