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Fungi, subdivision (phylum Eumycota or Eumycophyta) of the plant kingdom that comprises simple plants that reproduce mostly by means of spores and that lack chlorophyll. Fungi are now often considered a separate kingdom, not part of the plant kingdon. The majority of true fungi produce microscopic filaments (hyphae) that group together in an interwoven weft, called the mycelium. Reproduction is sometimes by budding (yeasts) but more normally by the production of asexual and sexual spores. Some fungi produce large fruit bodies; these are the structures commonly associated with fungi. Eumycota includes the myxomycetes, or slime molds. The true fungi are classified as the chytridomycetes, which produce motile gametes, or zoospores, with a single flagellum; the oomycetes, which have biflagellate zoospores and produce dissimilar male and female reproductive organs and gametes; zygomycetes, which do not produce motile zoospores and reproduce sexually by fusion of identical gametes; the ascomycetes, including yeasts, which reproduce asexually by budding or by the production of spores (conidia) and sexually by the formation of ascospores within saclike structures (asci) that are often enclosed in a fruiting body, or ascocarp; the basidiomycetes, in which sexual spores are produced or there are enlarged cells (basidia) that often occur on large fruiting bodies; and the deuteromycetes, or imperfect fungi, which are known to reproduce asexually, although sexual forms are often classified as ascomycetes and basidiomycetes.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Forest to Gabon