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anamorph (noun, pl. anamorphs) – the asexual morphotype of a fungus, also referred as the "imperfect" or mitosporic state, i. e., a morphotype that forms spores only by mitosis. The anamorph is referred to as "imperfect" assuming that a fungus that does not reproduce generatively has reached an evolutionary dead end. This hypothesis is biased. It ignores evidence that recombination is not the only way evolutionary processes take place. In haploid organisms like the Fungi any mutation will be immediately expressed. Even if these mutations will rarely be successful, anamorphic fungi often produce huge quantities of mitotic spores and even the smallest fraction of immediately successful genotype changes will instantaneously contribute to the evolutionary process. In addition, lateral gene exchange and parasexual processes have generally not been investigated thoroughly enough, to exclude the possibility that these processes further enhance genetic diversity in the Fungi. Thus, even mitosporic fungi might not necessarily remain genetically uniform clones. Judged by the multitude of fungi that occur predominately or even exclusively as anamorphs, mitosporic reproduction is obviously a very successful strategy of fungal reproduction. Some ana-holomorphic fungi entirely lack generative, i. e., sexual modes of reproduction. Related terms: holomorph, teleomorph, mitosporic, meiosporic.

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