Science

Why this fungus has over 20,000 sexes

Where we have two traditionally recognized genders, male and female, some species of fungi can have thousands of sexes… to mate, all a fungus has to do is bump up against another member of its species and let their cells fuse together.

It sounds confusing, but it’s actually helpful – with so many variations, the fungi can mate with nearly every individual of their species they meet. One species of fungi, Schizophyllum commune, really shines when it comes to gender diversity. The white, fan-shaped mushroom has more than 23,000 different sexual identities, a result of widespread differentiation in the genetic locations that govern its sexual behavior.

Original Article (Discover):
Why this fungus has over 20,000 sexes
Artwork Fair Use: Public domain

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