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Difference Between Fungi and Bacteria

FUNGI vs BACTERIA

Microbes such as bacteria and fungi, are very tiny organisms found in just about every ecosystem or elsewhere in the world and can associate with other diverse types of living things. They may be harmless passengers in humans and can even participate in biological processes. However, they can also cause injury and interfere with your body functions to the point of causing disease. Here are some significant differences between bacteria and fungi as they play a vital role in the ecology.

The major difference is that they have completely different cellular makeup.. Bacteria are said to be prokaryotic organisms, meaning they do not possess nucleus while fungi are eukaryotic organisms in which they have well-defined nucleus. Additionally, bacteria are considered unicellular microorganisms which can only be seen under a microscope whereas fungi are more complex microorganisms except for yeast. Both organisms have cell walls but the components within the cell walls are different. Most fungi are composed of networks of long hollow tubes called hyphae. Each hypha is bordered by a rigid wall usually made of chitin—the same material that forms the exoskeletons of insects. Hyphae grow by elongation at the tips and by branching to form a dense network called mycelium. As the mycelium grows, it produces huge fruiting bodies and other structures which contain reproductive spores. In contrast, the key component of the bacterial cell wall is called peptidoglycan. The bacterial cell also has a cell membrane containing cytoplasm.

Bacteria have three basic shapes where the cell wall influences the shape of the bacterium. Coccus bacteria are typically rounded, bacilli are rod-shaped and spirillum is spiral-shaped. But there are few bacteria that do not have cell wall and have no definite shape and they are referred as mycoplasma. Fungi appear to have various shapes and forms from mushrooms and shelf fungus to microscopic yeast and mold.

Bacteria multiply by way of binary fission; it is a process in which each parent bacterium divides into two daughter cells of same sizes. Fungi, on the other hand, are capable of reproducing both sexually and asexually. They develop by branching and fragmentation, while yeasts replicate through budding. Sexual reproduction happens when specialized cells, gametes, unite to form a unique spore. Spores may also be produced on the tip of hyphae asexually. Fragmentation takes place when cells of the hyphae split off to form a different fungus. A single fungus cell may divide in two to form a new fungus in a process termed as budding.

Concerning their nutrition, fungi are known to be saprophytes, that is, they feed on decayed matter. This is the reason why fungi are commonly found in soil or water containing organic waste. Fungi release distinct digestive enzymes that break down food outside their bodies in order to feed. The fungus will then absorb the dissolved food through its cell walls. They are referred to as heterotrophs in which they cannot manufacture their own food. In comparison, bacteria can either be heterotrophic or autotrophic. Autotrophic bacteria make their own food from light or chemical energy.

SUMMARY:
1. Fungi are eukaryotes while bacteria are prokaryotes.
2. Bacteria are single celled whereas most fungi are multicellular except for yeast.
3. The compositions within their cell walls are different.
4. Fungi are heterotrophs while Bacteria can be autotrophs or heterotrophs.
5. Bacteria have 3 distinct shapes while fungi have various shapes.
6. Bacteria reproduce sexually via binary fision whereas fungi are capable of reproducing both sexually or asexually.


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2 Comments

  1. “Bacteria reproduce sexually via binary fision whereas fungi are capable of reproducing both sexually or asexually.”

    I think you meant bacteria reproduce ASEXUALLY via binary fission.

  2. Thank yhu for this vital info. You’ve been most helpful.

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