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What is Basidiocarp?

IVSAT 2024

Basidiocarp Definition (Biology): A basidiocarp, also known as a basidiome or basidioma, is the multicellular structure on which a basidiomycete's spore-producing hymenium is carried. Basidiocarps are only found in hymenomycetes; rusts and smuts do not have these structures. 

Epigeous (above-ground) basidiocarps that are visible to the naked eye (especially those with a more or less agaricoid form) are frequently referred to as mushrooms, while hypogeous (underground) basidiocarps are generally referred to as fake truffles, as they are with other sporocarps.

For a shorter basidiocarp definition, we can say that a basidiocarp is the fruiting body of a basidiomycete. By meiosis, these structures produce haploid spores and occur in a wide range of forms and sizes.

Structure of Basidiocarps

The structure on which the hymenium is generated is found in all basidiocarps. Basidia are present on the hymenium's surface, and the basidia eventually form spores. In its most basic form, a basidiocarp is an undifferentiated fruiting structure with a hymenium on the surface; many simple jelly and club fungi have this structure. Differentiation into a stipe, a pileus, and/or numerous forms of hymenophores occurs in increasingly complicated basidiocarps.

Types of Basifiocarps


Basidiocarps are the basis for how we describe "mushrooms," despite the fact that only a subset of them look this way. Because it is the usual form seen in the genus Agaricus, this type of basidiocarp is called "agaricoid" or "agaric" in mycology. The genus Amanita, which is seen below, has a more complicated variant of the agaric mushroom.

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The spore-producing portion, the hymenophore, is protected by the cap (also known as the pileus). A hymenophore with gills is depicted in the diagram. However, mushrooms with pores, teeth, or other spore-producing surfaces are common. While the mushroom develops, a partial veil covers the hymenophore. The partial veil is pulled when the cap extends as the mushroom grows, and it can finish up as an annulus or connected to the cap's edges. Not all mushrooms have a partial veil and those that do usually don't look like this one! When a mushroom is young, the global veil (found in just a few mushrooms) covers the entire mushroom. As the mushroom grows, so does the global veil.


1. Partial Veils: 

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Until you see veils in person, they might be difficult to comprehend. The image above depicts a few phases in the formation of an Agaricus basidiocarp. The partial veil is still covering the gills in the fruiting body on the right (which has been split in half). The partial veil is breaking away from the edges of the cap in the older fruiting body on the left. This will form an annulus, as seen in the mushroom anatomy figure above.

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Partial veils can also wind up on the cap's border rather than the stipe. The cottony partial veil (black arrow) of Stropharia ambigua dangles from the cap's margin (edge) in the image above.

2. Universal Veils:

Two Amanita buttons with a universal veil can be seen in the image on the left. The mushroom begins to break into peaks as the veil dries off and the mushroom swells. An Amanita in a later stage of development has a comparable peak-shaped global veil remains on the cap in the image on the right, but they are considerably farther apart. This is due to the fact that the cap is growing like a balloon while the universal veil remains the same size.

Types of Hymenophores

1. Gills(Lamellate):

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A gilled mushroom's underside. Gills or lamellae are sheet-like membranes that run between the cap and the stipe. Basidia, which cover the gills, produce the spores.

2. Pores(Poroid):

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Three mushrooms with pores on the underside. In the photograph on the far left, the pores of the Suillus umbonatus are big and plainly distinguishable. The spores are formed on the inner surfaces of the pores, which have a tube-like shape. Another Suillus species in the centre has smaller pores, but they are still distinguishable from the naked eye. The pores in the Picipes badius on the right are so minuscule that it almost appears smooth.

3. Teeth(Dentate):

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Two mushrooms with fangs on the bottom. Teeth are similar to a pore turned inside out. Basidia that produce spores cover each stalactite-like teeth. The teeth on the left Hydnellum are substantially smaller than those on the right Hydnum.

4. Smooth:

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Stereopsis humphreyi has a saddle-shaped cap with a hairy stipe. Where you might expect to see gills or pores on the underside of the cap, the surface is absolutely smooth. However, spores continue to develop here.

Other Basidiocarps

1. Puffballs:

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Lycoperdon is a puffball-making species. Within the puffball, spores are formed in a mass. It dries out and a pore at the top opens as it ages. When disturbed, such as by footsteps or precipitation, the puffball puffs forth spores like a bellows.

2. Clubs and Corals:

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Clavariadelphus Occidentale has club-shaped fruiting bodies on the left. The branching, antler-like fruiting body is on the right. Corals are the branching forms that are commonly referred to. Spores can be formed on any external surface, including clubs and corals.

3. Brackets and Shelves:

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Trametes Versicolor forms brackets. The underside of these brackets is covered by a hymenophore, which is made up of microscopic pores. On these brackets, the pileus (top) contains multiple concentric zones of brown stripes. Brackets are frequently small and fragile.

4. Jellies: 

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There are two varieties of jelly fungi. Jelly fungus come in a range of shapes and sizes. Dacrymyces produce the gelatinous masses on the left. Guepinia helvelloides produce vase-shaped jellies on the right. On the outside of jelly fruiting forms, spores are formed.

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FAQs on Basidiocarp

1. What are Basidium and Basidiocarp?

Ans: The fruiting body of a mushroom-producing fungus is called a basidium, and it consists of four basidiocarps. The plasmogamy step produces four basidiospores. The fruiting body of a mushroom-producing fungus is called a basidiocarp.

2. What is the Difference Between Ascocarp and Basidiocarp?

Ans: The ascocarp is the fruiting body of an ascomycete that generates ascospores, whereas the basidiocarp is the fruiting body of a basidiomycete that generates basidiospores. Each type of fungi has two fruiting bodies that contain spores: Ascocarp and Basidiocarp.

3. What Type of Basidiocarp is Polyporus?

Ans:  Polyporus species are known as wood rotters because they induce wood rot in a variety of trees, including conifers, oak, apple, maple walnut, pear, Acacia, and others. P. sulphureus, often known as sulphur mushroom, causes oak and other tree wood rot and produces huge sulphur-yellow fruiting bodies. 

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