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   Mushrooms are unique. They are neither animal or plant. Some people consider them plants for various reasons, but they differ from plants in that they lack the green chlorophyll that plants use to manufacture their own food and energy. For this reason they are placed in a Kingdom of their own," The Kingdom of Fungi". Mushrooms are also unique within the Fungal Kingdom itself, because they produce the complex fruiting body which we all know as 'The Mushroom', all of the mushrooms are placed in a division called 'Eumycota' meaning 'The True Fungi'. The True Fungi are what we all know as mushrooms. They are divided into other groups depending on the structure of their fruiting bodies and various other macro and microscopic characteristics.
   The two major groups of Eumycota are Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes. So, what are mushrooms? A mushroom is but the fruit of the fungal organism that produces them, just like an apple tree produces apples to bear seeds to ensure the continuation of it's species, so the fungal organism produces mushrooms that carry spores to ensure the continuation of it's own species. Therefore, the mushroom is the reproductive organ for the fungus. This means that by picking a mushroom we do not harm the fungus itself, because the main body of the organism lies underground in the form of a network of minute threads called 'Hyphae'. When two compatible hyphae meet they join together to form another network called the 'Mycelium' which grows quietly and unseen under ground for most of the year until the conditions are right for fruiting and that's when we get to see mushrooms.
   Unfortunately, mushrooms are very delicate things, they do not last, some have a life span of less than a day others may survive one week, and a group of tougher mushrooms may last months but they have a tough woody texture. Most fleshy mushrooms do not last, and this makes researching them very difficult. Since we do not know where they are till they fruit, we only get a few days to study them each time, and this is seasonal. You may ask why we don't mark the spot they fruited so they can be studied more next time? Good idea, but mushrooms are funny things, you may see a mushroom on a patch of your front lawn this year, but it may not fruit again for several years, or it may fruit again next week, or you may find a completely different kind of mushroom in the same area. Each Mushroom carries within it millions or even billions of spores, to the extent, that in the case of some kinds of mushrooms grown commercially, workers have to wear dust masks to protect themselves from the spore dust and breath easily. Only a few of these spores manage to survive and grow into a mycelial network producing new mushrooms . To make life even more difficult, two compatible spores have to meet to be able to produce mushrooms.

Mushrooms classification

Basidiomycotina Ascomycotina
Hymenomycetes Gasteromycetes Discomycetes Pyrenomycetes
Agaricales
Aphyllophorales
Tramellales
Hymenogastrales
Lycoperdales
Nidulariales
Phallales
Podaxales
Tulostomatales
Helotiales
Pezizales
Tuberales
Cordyceps
Hypomyces
Podostroma

Agaricus
Amanita
Armillaria
Auricularia
Boletus
Calvatia
Cantharellus
Clitocybe
Coprinus
Fomes
Ganoderma
Grifola
Gyromitra
Hygrophorus
Lactarius
Laetiporus
Leccinum
Lentinus
Lycoperdon
Marasmius
Morchella
Phallus
Pleurotus
Russula
Suillus
Tricholoma
Tuber

 
   Source: http://www.allaboutmushrooms.com/, http://www.mushroomexpert.com/, http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/, http://www.mykoweb.com/.

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