Mushrooms are a unique and often mysterious organism. They’re not quite plants and not quite animals. As a fungus, mushrooms represent a distinct evolutionary lineage. Fungi grow as a single-cell yeast form (used in beer, wine, and bread making) and multi-cellular, thread-like mycelia that often produce fruiting bodies (mushrooms) and sclerotia (e.g. truffles), and are responsible for the decomposition of the vast majority of dead plant matter. Understanding life cycle of mushroom fungi is a valuable skill if you wish to harness this knowledge for mushroom cultivation.