The key difference between Ascocarp and Basidiocarp is that the ascocarp is the fruiting body of ascomycete that produces ascospores while the basidiocarp is the fruiting body of basidiomycete that produces basidiospores. Furthermore, most of the ascocarps are bowl-shaped while some are spherical and flask-shaped whereas, the basidiocarps are club-shaped.
Ascomycetes and basidiomycetes are two groups of fungi. Fungi reproduce through spores. Moreover, these two are higher fungi. Ascocarp and Basidiocarp are two fruiting bodies that bear spores of each group of fungi. Therefore, both of these structures are the results of the sexual reproduction of fungi.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is an Ascocarp
3. What is a Basidiocarp
4. Similarities Between Ascocarp and Basidiocarp
5. Side by Side Comparison – Ascocarp vs Basidiocarp in Tabular Form
What is an Ascocarp?
Ascomycete is a group of fungi. They reproduce sexually through ascospores. Ascus is the structure that bears ascospores. Ascocarp is the fruiting body that contains asci. There are three types of ascocarps namely cleistothecia, apothecia, and perithecia.
Ascus may contain four to eight ascospores. The production of ascospores is endogenous. Ascocarps are mostly bowl-shaped. However, some are spherical and flask-shaped.
What is a Basidiocarp?
Basidiomycete is a group of higher fungi. They produce a club-shaped structure called basidiocarp to produce spores for reproduction. It is the fruiting body of basidiomycetes. Visible basidiocarps are commonly known as mushrooms.
Basidiocarp contains many basidia (singular – basidium). Basidium produces four basidiospores exogenously to the outside. Basidiocarps are bowl-shaped.
What are the Similarities Between Ascocarp and Basidiocarp?
- Both ascocarp and basidiocarp are fruiting bodies of fungi.
- Ascocarp and Basidiocarp structures produce spores.
- Both Ascocarp and Basidiocarp have a hymenium.
- They are unique to fungi.
What is the Difference Between Ascocarp and Basidiocarp?
Ascomycete produces ascocarps, which are their fruiting bodies. On the other hand, basidiomycete is another group of fungi, which produces basidiocarps. Further, the basidiocarps produce basidiospores while ascocarps produce ascospores. This is the key difference between ascocarp and basidiocarp. Moreover, the basidiospore production is exogenous while ascospore production is endogenous. Also, the ascocarps contain asci, which may contain four to eight ascospores. Whereas, the basidiocarps contain basidia, which contain four basidiospores in each basidium. In addition, most of the ascocarps are bowl-shaped while some are spherical and flask-shaped. But, basidiocarps are club-shaped. Furthermore, ascus wall should be degraded in order to release ascospores while basidia are open and no need of degrading basidia walls to release spores.
Summary – Ascocarp vs Basidiocarp
Ascocarp and Basidiocarp are two types of fruiting bodies of fungi. Fungal group Ascomycete produces ascocarps while another group called basidiomycete produces basidiocarps. Moreover, ascospores and basidiospores are the two spore types produced in those structures. Ascocarp produces spores endogenously while basidiocarps produce basidiospores exogenously. Ascocarps are mostly bowl-shaped while basidiocarps are club-shaped structures. This is the difference between ascocarp and basidiocarp.
1.“8 Taxonomic Groups of Fungi | Eukaryotic Organisms.” Biology Discussion, 30 Aug. 2016. Available here
2.Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Basidiocarp.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 19 Feb. 2015. Available here