The key difference between apothecium and perithecium is that apothecium is a disc-shaped fruiting structure of ascomycetes fungi, while perithecium is a rounded or flask-shaped fruiting structure of ascomycetes fungi.
The fruiting structure of fungi of the phylum Ascomycota is also known as ascocarp or ascoma. It usually arises from vegetative filaments known as hyphae after sexual reproduction. Moreover, an ascocarp contains saclike structures called asci, which normally bear four to eight ascospores. Apothecium and perithecium are two different types of fruiting structures of fungi of the phylum Ascomycota.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Apothecium
3. What is Perithecium
4. Similarities – Apothecium and Perithecium
5. Apothecium vs. Perithecium in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Apothecium vs. Perithecium
What is Apothecium?
Ascocarps, which are normally bowl-shaped or disc-shaped, are known as apothecia. The singular form of apothecia is apothecium. An apothecium can also be a wide, open, saucer-shaped, or cup-shaped fruiting structure in fungi of the phylum Ascomycota. Apothecium is usually sessile (immobile), large and fleshy.
The structure of apothecium is mainly divided into three parts: hymenium, hypothecium, and excipulum. The hymenium is the upper concave surface, while the hypothecium and excipulum are defined as the foot of the structure. The asci are generally present in the hymenium of the apothecium. The asci are freely exposed in the hymenium of the apothecium at the time of maturity. For example, the fertile layer of the members of Dictyomycetes fungi is free, so many spores can be dispersed simultaneously due to freely exposed asci. However, sometimes in Morchella, the true morels have a mass of apothecia fused together in a single large cap. Other genera that produce apothecium may include Helvella and Gyromitra. The members of Helvella and Gyromitra have apothecia, which are very similar to Morchella.
What is Perithecium?
Perithecium is a rounded or flask-shaped and microscopic fruiting structure. The plural form of perithecium is perithecia. Perithecia are flask-shaped structures that are opened by a pore called ostiole. Through this pore, ascospores usually escape.
The canal of the ostiole may have hair-like structures called periphyses. Examples of perithecia-like ascocarps containing fungi are found among members of Sphaeriales and Hypocreales. Other than that, perithecia are also found in Xylaria, Nectria, Claviceps, and Neurospora. Moreover, sometimes the perithecia are free, but in many species, they are embedded within either the substrate it is fruiting or in a dense sterile tissue of haploid cells called a stroma.
What are the Similarities Between Apothecium and Perithecium?
- Apothecium and perithecium are two different types of fruiting structures in fungi of the phylum Ascomycota.
- Both fruiting structures are derived from vegetative filaments known as hyphae after sexual reproduction.
- Both fruiting structures contain ascospores.
- They help in fungal reproduction and multiplication.
What is the Difference Between Apothecium and Perithecium?
Apothecium is a disc-shaped fruiting structure of fungi of the phylum Ascomycota, while perithecium is a rounded or flask-shaped fruiting structure of fungi of the phylum Ascomycota. Thus, this is the key difference between apothecium and perithecium. Furthermore, apothecium is very large in size, while perithecium is microscopic in size.
The infographic below presents the differences between apothecium and perithecium in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Apothecium vs. Perithecium
The fruiting bodies or structures of fungi contain spores, which are dispersed for reproduction purposes. The fruiting bodies that are formed by sexual reproduction in the phylum Ascomycota are called ascocarps. There are three main types: apothecium, perithecium and cleistothecium. Apothecium is bowl-shaped or disc-shaped, while perithecium is rounded or flask-shaped. Moreover, apothecium is very large in size, while perithecium is microscopic in size. So, this summarizes the difference between apothecium and perithecium.