A basidiospore is a reproductive spore produced by Basidiomycete fungi. Basidiospores typically each contain one haploid nucleus that is the product of meiosis, and they are produced by specialized fungal cells called basidia. Most basidiospores are forcibly discharged, and are thus considered ballistospores.
When basidiospores encounter a favorable substrate, they may germinate, typically by forming hyphae. These hyphae grow outward from the original spore, forming an expanding circle of mycelium. The circular shape of a fungal colony explains the formation of fairy rings, and also the circular lesions of skin-infecting fungi that cause ringworm. Some basidiospores germinate repetitively by forming small spores instead of hyphae.