What Are Examples of Zygomycota?

Some examples of fungi classified within the group Zygomycota are black bread mold and Rhizopus oligosporus, which is used to produce tempeh. Zygomycetes are a group of mostly microscopic fungi that differ from other fungi in that they reproduce using zygospores.

Zygomycetes are very diverse, but few are encountered by humans on an everyday basis as many live in very specialized environments. One group, the Harpellales, live inside the guts of insects; others parasitize mushrooms. Many feed off of sugary fruit, causing spoilage. One important parasite of strawberries is Rhizopus stolonifer, which causes rapid rot.

Some zygomycetes are used to make fermented foods. Tempeh, made using R. oligosporus, is a patty of fermented soybeans. Often compared to tofu, it is a traditional food of Indonesia. Actinomucor elegans, another zygomycete, is used to make the Chinese food called sufu.