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Difference Between Fungi and Plants

fungiFungi vs Plants
Both fungi and plants were considered to be of the same group of living things till recently. However, they are now categorized under different groups. Plants and fungi make up two of the five groups that comprise the kingdom of living things on earth. The identification of these differences between the two is a comparatively recent phenomenon. It was only possible when the microscope was discovered in 1700.

The most important difference between plants and fungi is that plants can make their own food, while fungi cannot. As you know, plants use carbon dioxide, sunlight and water to create their own food. This process is known as photosynthesis. Fungi, on the other hand are incapable of making their own food. They usually eat off their host as parasites or decompose matter and take it as their food. This is the most important difference you need to remember about plants and fungi.

This brings us to the second difference. Fungi do not possess chlorophyll, that green substance that gives plants their beautiful green color and helps in photosynthesis.

The next difference between plants and fungi relate to their method of reproduction. As we all know, reproduction is one of the main things that differentiate a living thing from a nonliving one. Plants reproduce through pollen and seeds. However, fungi reproduce through numerous spores. They do not have pollen, fruit or seeds.

Another important difference between them relates to the way they are attached. All plants have a system of roots that attach the plant to the ground and help it in soaking moisture. However, if you were to look at fungi very closely, you would find them spreading a sort of net of filaments on the surface of the plant or whatever they are attaching to. This helps them attach to their host. There are no complex root systems, stems or leaves in fungi.

Plants and fungi also have different roles to play in the whole ecological system. Plants are predominantly considered to be producers, because they produce food. They create biomass through the process of photosynthesis. The role of fungi is just the opposite. They are the decomposers who break down biomass. Imagine what this earth would be without these busy cleaners- just a large dustbin that was never cleaned out!

Finally, the cell walls on a plant are lined with cellulose, while those of the fungi are made of chitin- a material that is also found on the exoskeletons of crabs, lobsters and insects.


1. Plants have chlorophyll and can produce their own food, fungi live off others, and they cannot produce their own food.
2. Plants reproduce through seeds and pollen, fungi reproduce through spores
3. Plants have roots, stem sand leaves. Fungi only have filaments which attach to the host.
4. Plants are the producers in the eco system, fungi are the decomposers.
5. The cell walls on plants are made of cellulose, while those of fungi are made of chitin.

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  1. cool. i like your notes.u helped me learn more about the difference between plants and fungi.keep it up!!!!!!!!

  2. this really helped me. thank you very much! i might come back to this website soon for more help with homework.

  3. thanks!!!! very simple ans straight forward….helped aot!

  4. Thanks~! You Helped Me Alot On My Homework (: Thanks A Million (:
    Anyway, Are You A Singaporean?
    Reply Soon! THANKS AGAIN~!

  5. thanks for information…it helps me in my study thanks

    • ..ohh.. Thank you very much for the information..it helps me for my study @ I learn more about plants and the interrelationship between plants and animals.It helps also in my assignments to research..

  6. I agree with almost everything that you posted except for you point about reproduction. Ferns are classified as plants and they reproduce using spores on the underside of their leaf. They have these little brown dot things that are like tiny capsules that are filled with a bunch of small haploid spores that fall to the ground. If I were to name the most basic, fundamental differences between fungi and plants it would be:

    – Fungi have cell walls made of chitin while plants have cell walls mad of cellulose
    – Plants have chloroplast
    – Fungi break down organic matter using enzymes while plants make their own food (heterotrophic vs. photoautotrophic)

  7. Another important thing to point out is that some Fungi insert their filaments into the root system of plants to exchange nutrients with each other which is not parasitic it is a symbiotic relationship that researchers have discovered.

  8. Okay, first off, there are SIX Kingdoms. Not five. They are six now, because, scientists couldn’t decide if this one thing went into on Kingdom or the other. So, now there is six. Try paying attention in science class, just like me! And I’m only 12 years old. I’m smarter than you think as well.


    And Nancy, (previous commenter) Stop trying to be a smart ass. If there were six kingdoms, then why haven’t the rest of us heard about it?? HEY? HUH!? HUH!?!? Stop thinking you’re so smart and posting smart ass comments on all the websites that you go on.

  10. And stop thinking you’re so much smarter thaan everyone else. The people who wrote this page are obviously much older than you, and have much more experience in the world of Biology than you, so stop being ‘smart’ and get on with life

  11. Going through a note of dis sort as a students of botany,it has impacted my studies about fungi and plant differences. Thank u.

  12. There are 6 kingdoms where bacteria has been split into two kingdoms:archaebacteria(
    bacteria) and eubacteria(true bacteria) since archaebacteria is not the same as eubacteria in many aspects and it could not fall under any other kingdom. I am a microbiologist trust me when i say they are 6 kingdoms

  13. I am studying biochemistry, I just want to guarantee ur comment. keep it up

  14. wow the notes helped me to know very well the differences between plants and fungi… thanks,.

  15. This realy help me alot is the only website that help me on my home work because other websites have characteristics and only a little of differences and are useless. I realy love this website!


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