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Glossary of Mycological Terms

Additional Reference: Hawksworth DL, PM Kirk, BC Sutton, DN Pegler. 1995. Ainsworth & Bisby's Dictionary of the fungi. International Mycologyical Institute.

Glossary of Mycological Terms
Term Definition
Acropleurogenous Conidia developing at the tip and along the sides of the conidiophore.
Adiaconidia A large, globose, thick-walled conidium, usually produced by Emmonsia (Chrysosporium) parvum, in the lungs of humans and animals.
Aerial mycelium Hyphal elements growing above the agar surface.
Aleurioconidium (pl. aleurioconidia) A thallic conidium released by lysis or fracture of the supporting cell.
Ameroconidium (pl. ameroconidium) A one-celled conidium.
Anamorph An asexual state of a fungus.
Annellide A specialized conidiogenous cell producing conidia in basipetal succession by a series of short percurrent proliferations (annellations). The tip of an annellide increases in length and becomes narrower as each subsequent conidium is formed.
Annelloconidium (pl. annelloconidia) A conidium produced by an annellide.
Apophysis A swelling. The term is primarily applied to the funnel-shaped swelling of a sporangiophore, immediately below the columella, seen in some zygomycetes.
Arthric A type of conidial ontogeny involving the conversion and subsequent disarticulation of a determinant conidiogenous hypha.
Arthroconidium (pl. arthroconidia) A thallic conidium released by either the splitting of a double septum or by the fragmentation or lysis of a disjunctor cell.
Ascocarp A fruiting body containing asci and ascospores.
Ascomycetes A group of fungi that reproduce sexually by the endogenous formation of ascospores in an ascus.
Ascomycetous Referring to the Ascomycetes.
Ascospore A haploid spore produced within an ascus following karyogamy and meiosis.
Ascus (pl. asci) A sac-like cell containing ascospores. Asci are characteristic of the Ascomycetes.
Aseptate Lacking septa, often pertaining to the hyphae seen in zygomycetes (also see coenocytic).
Ballistoconidium (pl. ballistoconidia) A conidium that is forcible discharged.
Basidiomycetes A group of fungi that reproduce sexually by the exogenous formation of basidiospores from a basidium.
Basidiospore A haploid spore produced on a basidium following karyogamy and meiosis.
Basidium (pl. basidia) A cell that gives rise to a basidiospore. Basidia are characteristic of the Basidiomycetes.
Basipetal A chain of conidia, the oldest conidium is at the apex and the youngest is at the base.
Basocatenulate A chain of conidia having the youngest cell at the base.
Bipolar budding Blastoconidia developing at the opposite poles of a parent cell.
Biseriate Phialides arising from metulae as in the genus Aspergillus.
Biverticillate Two or rarely three levels of branching directly below the phialides as in the genus Penicillium.
Blastic A form of conidial development where there is a recognizable enlargement or "blowing out" of a conidial initial before being delimited by a septum.
Blastocatenate A chain of conidia having the youngest cell at the tip.
Blastoconidium (pl. blastoconidia) An asexual conidium that forms by a blowing out or budding process.
Bud A young conidium. Usually used to denote the young blastoconidia of yeasts.
Budding Asexual multiplication by the production of a small outgrowth or bud from a parent cell.
Capsule A hyaline mucopolysaccharide sheath around the cell wall of certain yeasts e.g. Cryptococcus and Rhodotorula.
Catenulate Conidia arranged in chains.
Chlamydoconidium (pl. Chlamydoconidia) A thick-walled, thallic conidium formed within the vegetative hyphae. Chlamydoconidia function as organs of perennation rather than dissemination.
Clamp connection A specialized hyphal bridge over a septum in the Basidiomycetes.
Clavate Club-shaped.
Cleistothecium (pl. cleistothecia) An enclosed ascocarp containing randomly dispersed asci.
Coenocytic Infrequently septate, multi-nucleate hyphae as in the Zygomycetes.
Collarette A small collar. Usually, a remnant of a cell wall present at the tip of a phialide, or around a sporangiophore.
Columella (pl. columellae) A sterile dome-like structure at the tip of a sporangiophore or within a sporangium.
Columnar Forming a column.
Conidiogenous cell A cell that forms conidia.
Conidiophore A specialized hypha upon which conidia develop.
Conidium (pl. conidia) An asexual reproductive propagule formed in any manner that does not involve cytoplasmic cleavage. Conidia function as organs of dissemination.
Cottony Having a loose and coarse texture.
Cylindrical Cylindric, having parallel walls and circular cross-section.
Dematiaceous A dark brown, greenish gray or black colour.
Dermatophyte A fungus belonging to the genera Epidermophyton, Microsporum, or Trichophyton with the ability to utilize keratin to infect hair, nail and skin.
Denticle A small projection or peg on which conidia are produced.
Determinate conidiophore The conidiophore does not alter in length after the formation of conidia.
Deuteromycetes An artificial subdivision to accommodate those fungi where only the asexual state is known.
Dichotomous A type of hyphal branching into two equal forks.
Dictyoconidium (pl. dictyoconidia) A conidium with both longitudinal and transverse septa; a muriform conidium.
Didmoconidium (pl. didymoconidia) A two celled conidium.
Dimorphic Having two different morphological forms.
Disjunctor cell An empty cell that fragments and/or undergoes lysis to release a conidium.
Dolipore septum A characteristic septum found in the Basidiomycetes that flares out near the pore to form an elongate channel.
Double septum A two layered septum that may undergo centripetal separation (schizolysis) to release a conidium.
Downy Having a short and dense mycelial texture.
Dysgonic A slow growing variant.
Echinulate Covered with delicate spines.
Ectothrix Natural hair invasion by a dermatophyte characterized by arthroconidia on the outside of the hair shaft.
Effuse Spread out, radiate.
Elliptical Oval, with a symmetric curve.
Elongate Lengthened.
Endospore A spore produced within a spherule.
Endothrix Natural hair invasion by a dermatophyte characterized by the development of arthroconidia within the hair shaft only.
Erect Upright.
Evanescent Disappearing.
Exudate Droplets of fluid formed on the surface of a colony.
Falcate Curved like a sickle.
Flexuous Wavy.
Floccose Fluffy or cottony.
Foot cell A basal cell of a conidiophore as seen in Aspergillus and Fusarium.
Fusiform Spindle-shaped, tapering toward the end.
Geniculate Bent like a knee.
Germ tube The initial hypha that develops from a conidium or spore.
Glabrous Smooth.
Gloiospora Conidia aggregated in slimy heads at the tip of an annellide or phialide.
Guttulate Containing one or more oil droplets.
Gymnothecium (pl. gymnothecia) A non-ostiolate ascocarp composed of loosely interwoven hyphae and containing randomly dispersed asci.
Heterothallic A fungus that requires mating between two compatible strains for sexual reproduction to occur.
Hilum A scar at the base of a conidium.
Holoblastic A mode of blastic conidium ontogeny in which all the cell wall layers of the conidiogenous cell are involved in conidium development.
Holothallic A mode of thallic conidium ontogeny in which all the cell wall layers of the conidiogenous cell are involved in conidium development.
Homothallic A fungus capable of sexual reproduction on a single thallus.
Hulle cells Thick-walled cells with characteristic thin-walled pores, usually associated with cleistothecia of Aspergillus.
Hyaline Colourless.
Hyalo- A prefix meaning hyaline to lightly coloured.
Hypha (pl. hyphae) A single filament of a fungus.
Hyphomycetes A class of mycelial moulds which reproduce asexually by conidia on hyphae or aggregations of hyphae.
Intercalary Within a hyphal element.
Lageniform Flask-shaped.
Lanceolate Lance-shaped.
Lanose Woolly.
Lateral On the side.
Lenticular Shaped like a double convex lens.
Macroconidium (pl. macroconidia) The larger of two different types of conidia produced by a fungus in the same manner.
Macronematous Having a conidiophore that is morphologically different from the vegetative hyphae.
Merosporangium (pl. merosporangia) A small cylindrical sporangium with the sporangiospores aligned in a row.
Metula (pl. Metulae) A sterile cell below the phialides of some Aspergillus and Penicillium species.
Microconidium (pl. microconidia) The smaller of two different types of conidia produced by a fungus in the same manner.
Micronematous Having a conidiophore that is not morphologically different from the vegetative hyphae.
Mucoid Sticky or slimy
Multiseptate Having several septa.
Multipolar budding Blastoconidia developing at different sites on the surface of a parent cell.
Muriform A conidium with both longitudinal and transverse septa.
Mycelium (pl. mycelia) The mass of hyphae making up the thallus of a fungus.
Niger Black.
Nonseptate Without septa.
Obclavate Club-shaped in reverse; the distal region is smaller.
Obpyriform Pear-shaped in reverse; the distal region is larger.
Olivaceous Olive-grey colour.
Ostiole An opening or pore in an ascocarp or a pycnidium.
Ovoid Egg-shaped.
Pectinate Like the teeth of a comb.
Pedicel A slender stalk.
Pellicle A film-like or skin-like surface growth.
Penicillus (pl. penicilli) The brush-like conidiophore of Penicillium.
Percurrent Conidiogenous cell growth where a new axis grows through the previous apex.
Peridium The outer wall of an ascocarp.
Perithecium (pl. perithecia) An enclosed ascocarp characterized an apical ostiole and by asci arranged in a basal tuft or hymenium layer.
Phaeo- A prefix meaning darkly pigmented.
Phialide A specialized conidiogenous cell that produces conidia in basipetal succession without increasing in length.
Phialoconidium (pl. phialoconidia) A conidium produced from a phialide.
Phragmoconidium (pl. phragmoconidia) A conidium having two or more transverse septa.
Pleomorphic Having more than one form.
Pleurogenous Born on the sides of a conidiophore or hyphae.
Poroconidium (pl. poroconidia) A conidium produced through a small pore in a conidiogenous cell.
Pseudohyphae A string of elongated blastoconidia formed in some yeasts that resemble a hypha-like filament.
Pycnidium (pl. pycnidia) An asexual fruiting body containing conidia.
Pyriform Pear-shaped.
Rachis An extension of a sympodial proliferating conidiogenous cell bearing conidia.
Racquet hyphae A hypha composed of a number of cells swollen at one end resembling a tennis racquet.
Retrogressive conidial development The conidiogenesis cell becomes shorter during the successive development of conidia.
Rhizoids A short branching root-like hyphae seen in some Zygomycetes.
Sclerotium (sclerotia) A mass of thick-walled cells formed by the vegetative hyphae that function as an organ of perennation.
Semimacronematous Having a conidiophore that is only slightly morphologically different from the vegetative hyphae.
Septum (pl. septa) A cross wall in a hypha.
Spinulose Covered in small spines.
Solitary Alone.
Sporangiolum (pl. ) A small sporangium producing a small number of sporangiospores.
Sporangiophore A specialized hypha that bears a sporangium.
Sporangiospore An asexual spore produced within a sporangium.
Sporangium (pl. sporangia) A sac-like structure producing asexual spores endogenously by cytoplasmic cleavage.
Spore a reproductive propagule formed by either meiosis or mitosis. However, if by asexual means, cleavage of cytoplasm is usually involved.
Sporodochium (pl. sporodochia) A cushion-shaped mass of hyphae bearing conidiophores.
Stellate Star-shaped
Sterigma (pl. sterigmata) A small pointed structure upon which a basidiospore forms.
Stolon A running hypha from which rhizoids and sporangiospores arise.
Striate Having lines or minute furrows.
Subglobose Not quite round or spherical.
Sympodial A mode of conidiogenous cell growth which results in the development of conidia on a geniculate or zig-zag rachis.
Synnema (pl. synnemata) A group of erect conidiophores that are cemented together producing conidia at the apex and/or along the sides.
Teleomorph The sexual state of a fungus.
Thallic A mode of conidial ontogeny where a conidium is formed from a pre-existing hyphal segment or cell.
Toruloid Having swellings at intervals.
Truncate Cut off sharply.
Tuberculate Having small wart-like structures.
Uniserate Phialides arising directly from a vesicle as in Aspergillus.
Verrucose Having many warts.
Verticillate Having branches arranged in verticils or whorls.
Vesicle A swollen cell.
Zygospores A thick-walled sexual spore formed by the fusion of two similar gametangia; characteristic of the Zygomycetes.
School of Biological Sciences



Dr David Ellis