The equivalent in microorganisms, fungi, and algae of the male and female individuals of higher organisms. Mating types are morphologically the same and therefore difficult to distinguish. For this reason different mating types, of the same species, are designated as + and –. The mating types are distinct strains that are compatible in sexual reproduction; they are able to give rise to a zygote, which can develop into a new individual.
Subjects: Biological Sciences.