How do fungi reproduce?

1 Answer
May 24, 2018

Fungi reproduce both sexually and asexually and the mode of reproduction varies from one phyla to another.


Fungal reproduction is complex and about a third of all fungi reproduce using more than one method of propagation. Majority of fungi produce spores that are haploid cells that can undergo mitosis to form multicellular haploid individuals. They can reproduce asexually by fragmentation, budding or producing spores, or sexually with homothallic or heterothallic mycelia.

Asexual reproduction occurs through vegetative spores called as conidia. Fragmentation and budding off of the mycelia also leads to their developing into separate individuals. These methods maintain clonal population and allow more rapid dispersal than sexual reproduction.

All fungal phyla except Glomeromycota display sexual reproduction with meiosis. Compatible individuals may combine by fusing their hyphae together into an interconnected network. This process is called as anastomoses and is required for the initiation of the sexual cycle. Some species may allow mating only between individuals of opposite mating types, whereas others can mate and sexually reproduce with any other individual or itself.

Developmental stages leading to specialised structures for sexual or asexual reproduction are triggered by environmental conditions. Sexual reproduction often occurs in response to adverse environmental conditions.