Basidiomycetes

Members of the class Basidiomycetes are known as club fungi. They include the common mushroom, the shelf fungi, puffballs, and other fleshy fungi. Sexual spores called basidiospores are formed on clublike structures called basidia (the singular is basidium).

Perhaps the most familiar member of this class is the edible mushroom. The mycelium forms below ground. After the hyphae have fused, a mushroom cap emerges. Basidia form on the cap's underside along the gills, and basidiospores form on the basidia. Some mushrooms are edible, while some are poisonous, and they are similar in their form and shape.

Basidiomycetes also cause agricultural diseases, including rust and smut diseases. These diseases affect corn, blackberries, and a number of grains such as wheat, oats, and rye.