I would have some related questions about the mating types of fungi.

  1. Does a single spore generate a mycelium possessing only one mating type? If it does not in general, do Ascomycota and Basidiomycota possess only one mating type per individual mycelium?

  2. Are homothallism and heterothallism properties of the individual mycelium or of the species? The definitions that I find in my book and on line confuse me. I understand that homothallism is the property of a mycelium (possessing only one mating type or can it possess many mating types in a similar way to hermaphrodite animals? cfr. question 1) that can mate with itself (if it can possess many mating types and it can mate with itself only by using gametes of different mating types, is it still homothallic?) and heterothallism is the property of a mycelium that is not homothallic, but I am not sure I understand, because I read of homothallic and heterothallic species too: is a homothallic species a species where at least some individual is homothallic, where all individuals are homothallic or something else?

  3. I am sure that mating type is a property characterising at least gametes, but is it a property of indiviual cells too? As an example, I know that it is necessary, among many species of fungi, for two gametes to belong to two different mating types in order to produce a zygote. Some fungi, as it is the rule among Basidiomycota, reproduce by somatogamy, i.e. the nuclei generating the zygote are from somatic cells, other than gametes. In such cases, are there species where it is necessary for the somatic cells of a homothallic mycelium to belong to a different type than the type with which they are undergoing plasmogamy? Thank you very much for any answer!


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