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Fungi imperfecti

The Fungi impe rfecti or imperfect fungi, also known as Deuteromycota, are fungi which do not fit into the commonly established taxonomic classifications of fungi that are based on biological species concepts or morphological characteristics of sexual structures because their sexual form of reproduction has never been observed; hence the name "imperfect fungi." Only their asexual form of reproduction is known, meaning that this group of fungi produces their spores asexually. The Deuteromycota (Greek for "second fungi") were once considered a formal phylum of the kingdom Fungi. The term is now used only informally, to denote species of fungi that are asexually reproducing members of the fungal phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. There are about 25,000 species that have been classified in the deuteromycota and many are basidiomycota or ascomycota anamorphs. Fungi producing the antibiotic penicillin and those that cause athlete's foot and yeast infections are imperfect fungi. In addition, there are a number of edible imperfect fungi, including the ones that provide the distinctive characteristics of Roquefort and Camembert cheese. Other, more informal, names besides Deuteromycota ("Deuteromycetes") and fungi imperfecti, are anamorphic fungi, or mitosporic fungi, but these are terms without taxonomic rank.

Problems in taxonomic classification
Although Fungi imperfecti/Deuteromycota is no longer formally accepted as a taxon, many of the fungi it included have yet to find a place in modern fungal classification. This is because most fungi are classified based on characteristics of the fruiting bodies and spores produced during sexual reproduction, and members of the Deutromycota have only been observed to produce asexual or no spores. For this reason, mycologists are unique among those who study extant organisms in using a dual system of nomenclature. Dual naming was permitted by Article 59 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (which governs the naming of plants and fungi); however, this was abolished in the 2011 update of the Code.[1] Under the former system, a name for an asexually reproducing fungus was considered a form taxon. For example, the ubiquitous and industrially important mold, Aspergillus niger, has no known sexual cycle. Thus Aspergillus niger is considered a form taxon. In contrast, isolates of its close relative, Aspergillus nidulans, revealed it to be the anomorphic stage of a teleomorph already named Emericella nidulans. When a teleomorphic stage is known, that name will take priority over the name of an anamorph, hence this formerly classified Aspergillus species is now properly called Emericella nidulans.

Phylogeny and taxonomy

Historical classification of the imperfect fungi These groups are no longer formally accepted because they do not adhere to the principle of monophyly. The taxon names are sometimes used informally. With these methods. Other systems of classification are reviewed by Kendrick (1981). and the term 'coelomycetes' is used to refer to many asexually reproducing plant pathogens that form discrete fruiting bodies. Classifying and naming asexually reproducing fungi is the subject of ongoing debate in the mycological community. such as RNA.Phylogenetic classification of asexually reproducing fungi now commonly uses molecular systematics. because phylogenetic methods require sufficient quantities of biological materials (spores or fresh specimens) that are from pure (i. the term 'hyphomycetes' is often used to refer to molds. for many asexual species their exact relationship with other fungal species has yet to be determined. In particular.. teleomorph names cannot be applied to fungi that lack sexual structures. many asexually reproducing fungi have now been placed in the tree of life. Phylogenetic trees constructed from comparative analyses of DNA sequences. [2]  Class Hyphomycetes lacking fruiting bodies o Order Moniliales (producing spores on simple conidiophores) o Order Stilbellales (producing spores on synnemata) o Order Tuberculariales (producing spores in sporodochia) Class Coelomycetes spores produced in fruiting bodies o Order Melanconiales (producing spores in acervuli) o Order Sphaeropsidales (producing spores in pycnidia) Class Agonomycetes lacking spore   . Under the current system of fungal nomenclature. [citation needed ] However. uncontaminated) fungal cultures.e. or multigene phylogenies may be used to infer relationships between asexually reproducing fungi and their sexually reproducing counterparts.