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Scientific classification

Basidiomycota is a division of fungi that produce spores in a structure called a basidium, which often produces four basidiospores. They are traditionally divided into Homobasidiomycetes, which includes the true mushrooms (agarics[?], boletes[?]), puffballs, toadstools[?] and Heterobasidiomycetes[?] such as rusts and smuts[?].

Some important orders of homobasidiomycete mushrooms are:

and various gasteromycete orders.

Basidiomycetes have a peculiar sexuality. They most often are heterothallic[?], but with a bipolar (unifactorial) or tetrapolar (bifactorial) mating system acting like many sexes. Usually, somatogamy[?] (hyphogamy) is performed.

Most basidiomycetes live out most of their life as dikaryotic (heterokaryotic) mycelium, with karyogamy[?] and meiosis happening in the basidium. There are examples of diploid life cycles as well: the genus Xerula was found to sometimes produce diploid clones as spores, and Armillaria, a common forest pathogen, has diploid mycelium, where karyogamy[?] directly follows plasmogamy[?].

Asexual spores (conidia[?]) are more and more being discovered also in the basidiomycetes.

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