Fungal phylogenetic classification
Hibbett, David S. Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Biological classifications
- Prior classifications of Fungi
- Deep Hypha and the AFTOL classification
- Position of Fungi within eukaryotes and basal fungal lineages
- Future of fungal classification
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The classification of Fungi based on phylogenetic (evolutionary) relationships. Fungi constitute one of the major branches of the tree of life. There are about 100,000 described species in the Fungi, but it has been estimated that there are as many as 1.5 million extant fungal species. Fungi have evolved a remarkable diversity of forms and lifestyles. Some produce mushrooms, which are sexual reproductive structures, but most fungal species are very inconspicuous and generally go unnoticed. Single-celled forms called yeasts occur in multiple fungal groups, but most species grow as a network of microscopic filaments (hyphae), termed a mycelium, by which the fungus explores its environment and captures resources. Some fungi are aquatic and produce swimming cells with typical eukaryotic flagella. However, most fungi are terrestrial and lack flagellated cells, which appear to have been lost, perhaps multiple times, during fungal evolution. See also: Classification, biological; Fungi; Mushroom; Phylogeny; Yeast
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