Kingdom :- Mycota

Division :- Eumycota

Sub-division :- Ascomycotina

Class :- Discomycetes

Order :- Pezizales

Family :- Pezizaceae

Genus :- Ascobolus

Ascobolus are seen growing on dung and on decaying wood, in damp places in rainy season.



  • The fungus mostly grows on the dung of herbivores and is called coprophilous. A few species (A. carbonarius) grow on burnt soils. 
  • The thallus is made of richly branched mycelium that forms a complex structure and finally a cup shaped structure.
  • The hyphal masses penetrate the substratum. These act as organs of absorption for the aerial branches. 
  • The hyphae are branched and septate. Each cell is multinucleate.

Ascobolus. Ascocarps.



    • The male reproductive organs are antheridia and the female reproductive organs are called ascogonia. 
    • Antheridia and ascogonia are borne at the tips of separate branches. 
    • Antheridium is borne at the tip of antheridial branch. It is cylindrical or clavate in shape. 
    • Each antheridium is multinucleate.
    • Ascogonium is also present at the tip of the ascogonial branch. It is sub-globose in shape and is multinucleate.
    • The tip of ascogonium is drawn into a long and terminal organ called trichogyne. It reaches the tip of an antheridium.

Ascobolus. Sex organs



  • The ascocarps are apothecia and develop as a result of fertilization. 
  • These are yellowish and saucer shaped. 
  • Apothecium is a cup-shaped structure that is made of mycelium.
  • The section shows three zones-the outermost called hymenium, the middle called sub-hymenium and the lowermost called hypothecium. 
  • The lowermost hypothecium, is made of sterile hyphae, loosely packed to form pseudoparenchymatous region called trama. 
  • The middle zone consist of a few erect hyphae. ‘This later merges with hymenial layer which is called sub-hymenium. 
  • The hymenium consists of asci intermingled with paraphyses. 
  • The asci elongate on maturation to protrude above the hymenial surface. These are found mixed with paraphyses. Ascus is a long and cylindrical structure. It opens by a terminal pore called operculum.
  • Each ascus contains eight ascospores. Ascospore is one celled, large in diameter, purple or dark brown and the spore wall shows longitudinal colourless striations.

Ascobolus. V.s. apothecium.


  • KINGDOM – Mycota
    1. Chlorophyll absent
    2. Reserve food glycogen
    3. Cell wall of fungal cellulose.
  • DIVISION Eumycota
    1. A definite cell wall present.
  • SUB-DIVISION :- Ascomycotina
    1. Mycelium septate.
    2. Spores borne endogenously in the ascus.
    3. Spores in definite numbers, in multiples of two, usually eight.
  • CLASS :- Discomycetes
    1. Ascocarp, an apothecium.
  • ORDER Pezizales
    1. Apothecia fleshy or leathery.
    2. Apothecia usually not in stroma.
  • FAMILY Pezizaceae
    1. Apothecia cup-shaped or discoid.
    2. apothecia not differentiated into stipe and pileus.
  • GENUS Ascobolus
    1.  Apothecia upto 5 mm in diameter.
    2. Apothecia saucer-shaped and growing on dung.


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