General Charateristics of Fungi



A perithecium (flask shaped fruiting structure produced by Ascomycota) of Sordaria. This perithecium has been broken open to show asci with ascospores.

Asci Ascospores

Higher magnification showing a group of asci from a perithecium. Each ascus has 8 ascospores.

ascus with 8 ascospores

An ascus is seen at the top of the photo with 8 ascospores. The clear sac-like structure is the ascus, ascospores are dark colored and the ostiole, opening at the tip of the ascus, is where the ascospores will be forcefully projected out into the air.

Cup Fungi and Spores

An asocmycete producing a typical cup-like fruiting body called an apothecia. Ascospores are being released which look like a puff of smoke coming from the surface of the apothecium.


Ascomycete fruiting bodies can be very diverse in their morphology such as this large morel. The asci and ascospores are produced on the convoluted surface.