Originally classified as non-flowering plants that lacked chlorophyll, fungi are now put in a separate kingdom. Most fungi are microscopic and haploid, producing a short-lived diploid form only as a result of sexual fusion. The fungi are divided into the Ascomycetes (having ascospores), the Basidiomycetes (having basidiospores), the Phycomycetes (having sexual reproduction that does involve either ascospores or basidiospores), and the imperfect fungi, that have no known sexual reproduction. Many of the fruiting bodies are macroscopic, and are known as mushrooms, toadstools, puff balls, etc. Most fungi are very valuable reducers, but a few are parasitic on plants and the cause of plant diseases.

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