General Charateristics of Fungi



Ascomycota (Ascomycetes, Cup fungi and related forms): Perithecia of Sordaria. Note the flask or pear-shaped form.


Group of asci from a perithecium. Each ascus has 8 ascospores.


1. Ascus, a clear sac-like structure that contains the ascospores - not easily seen in this photo since it is a clear structure.

2. Ascospore inside ascus

3. Ostiole, ascospores are released through this opening at the tip of the ascus - this is difficult to see in the photo.

Cup Fungi and Spores

An ansocmycete 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