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Basidiomycota: Homobasidiomycetes

  • D. S. Hibbett
  • R. G. Thorn
Chapter
Part of the The Mycota book series (MYCOTA, volume 7B)

Abstract

Homobasidiomycetes include the mushroomforming fungi and related taxa. Over 13000 species of homobasidiomycetes have been described, which is equal to approximately 23% of all known species of eumycota (Hawksworth et al. 1995). Homobasidiomycetes occur in all terrestrial ecosystems, including deserts, and there are also a few aquatic species, in both marine and freshwater habitats (Kohlmeyer and Kohlmeyer 1979; Desjardin et al. 1995). The oldest unambiguous homobasidiomycete fossils are from the mid-Cretaceous, but indirect evidence, including molecular clock dating, suggests that the group may have been in existence by the late Triassic (ca. 200 ma; Berbee and Taylor 1993; Hibbett et al. 1997a). In contemporary ecosystems, homobasidiomycetes function as saprotrophs, plant pathogens, and partners in diverse symbioses, including ectomycorrhizae. Thus, homobasidiomycetes play a significant role in the carbon cycle, and they have a profound economic impact on agricultural industries, especially forestry. Finally, homobasidiomycetes are culturally significant, having served as food, drugs, and spiritual symbols in diverse human societies.

Keywords

Fruiting Body Ambrosia Beetle Spore Morphology High Basidiomycete Lentinus Tigrinus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Hibbett
    • 1
  • R. G. Thorn
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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