Fungi have two stages of reproduction, as illustrated in Figure 9.2. Fungi reproduce either by asexual or sexual reproduction.
- Asexual reproduction: Asexual reproduction is usually accomplished through the production of spores. In multicellular fungi, spores form on or in specialized hyphae called sporangia. In single-celled species, the spore can form directly in the parental cell. In other cases, no spores are produced at all. Instead, budding, or fragmentation, of the parent body occurs to form two cells.
- Sexual reproduction: This type of reproduction is achieved thorough the production of gametes and spores. The gamete producing parts of the fungus, the gametangia, fuse to produce a diploid cell which then goes through meiosis to produce haploid spores. In general, sexual reproduction is less frequent than asexual reproduction and usually occurs only when fungi encounter unfavorable environmental conditions, such as starvation conditions.