Volume 4 Part 1 Article 2: The Two-Spored Basidium

Volume 4 Part 1 Article 2
Year 1960
Title: The Two-Spored Basidium
Author: M. Lange


The pattern of nuclear division in basidiomycètes indicates close relationship to the eight-spored ascus characterizing the ascomycetes. The basidium with four sterigmata is, however, of as regular occurrence as is the eight-spored ascus, and basidia with more than four sterigmata are met but rarely and only in species of basidiomycètes which are of primitive structure, belonging to the families Corticiaceae s. lat. and Cantharellaceae. A further reduction in the number of sterigmata is encountered in species of almost all families of hymenomycetes, two sterigmata being most frequent. The significance of two-sporedness is, however, very controversial.

From a purely taxonomical view-point, the character has at times been considered of such an importance as to justify generic cuts (Godfrinia) ; a more recent tendency has been to consider it a rather insignificant form character, while at present it is generally believed that the character should be considered on its merits in each special case, its significance being highly different.

There are many genera in which two-sporedness does not occur or at least is extremely infrequent. – Thus in most or all genera of polyporaceous fungi, and among the agarics especially in Russulaceae, Cortinarius, Tricholoma, Clitocybe.

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