|Oogonium Antheridium- showing zygotes
Fungus can reproduce either sexually or asexually. Reproductive structures of fungi
are called gametangia, if they are directly involved in the production of gametes, and sporangia, if they are involved in the production of asexual spores. The asexual
phase of the life cycle is known as the anamorph, while the sexual stage of the fungus is known
as the teleomorph. Sexual reproduction involves the union of two compatible fungal nuclei
followed by meiotic division. Nonmotile spores are the characteristic agents of fungal
reproduction and are typically dry and very small. This enables them to remain floating in the air
for long periods of time thus increasing their chances of being carried to great heights and
distances by air currents. Other spores are slimy and stick to the bodies of arthropods, like
insects, to aid in their dispersal. Some spores are fired off in a sporangium and may travel
distances of up to 2 m, which is a huge distance considering the sporangia are only 80
micrometres in diameter.
|Allomyces arbuscula, sporangium with pits.