|ascus (ās'kəs) Pronunciation Key
Plural asci (ās'ī', -kī')
A membranous, often club-shaped structure inside which ascospores are formed through sexual reproduction in species of the fungi known as ascomycetes. The ascus is unique to ascomycetes and distinguishes them from other kinds of fungi. Asci are formed when two hyphae that are sexually compatible conjugate. Each ascus typically develops eight ascospores. Asci swell at maturity until they burst, shooting the ascospores into the air.