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.
Acrogenous: Conidia born at the tip of the conidiophore.
Acropetal: A chain of conidia in which the youngest conidium is at the tip and the oldest is at the base.
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.
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.
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.
Exudate: Droplets of fluid formed on the surface of a colony.
Falcate: Curved like a sickle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.