Mold vs Fungus: Difference and Comparison

The ecosystem is the system of nature comprising all types of living beings in conjunction with non-living things. Ecosystems contain humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms, along with non-living things.

Microorganisms are as important for ecosystems as humans or plants. These organisms can be seen with the naked eye, but their presence is evident through a microscope.

Microorganisms can be single or multiple-cell bodies.

They can multiply easily under favorable weather conditions and cause several changes when they get multiple. They might not be visible in every case, but most of the time, the result of their multiplication can be seen easily,

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for example, curd, when the curd is formed from milk bacteria are not visible.

Key Takeaways

  1. Moulds are a specific type of fungi known for their multicellular, filamentous structure.
  2. Fungi include various forms, such as yeasts, moulds, and mushrooms, displaying a more comprehensive range of characteristics and structures.
  3. Both moulds and fungi play crucial roles in ecosystems, breaking down dead organic matter and recycling nutrients.

Mold vs. Fungus

Fungus is a broader term that includes unicellular and multicellular organisms and different fungi types. It can cause fungal diseases in humans and animals. Mold is a type of fungus that is multicellular and can destroy buildings. It is found in areas having moisture.

Mold vs Fungus

 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMouldFungus
DefinitionA type of fungusA separate kingdom that includes different types of fungus.
Cellular differenceMulticellular organismThey can be unicellular or multicellular organisms.
Aerobic organismsAerobic organismThey can be aerobic or anaerobic organisms.
CausesIt causes damage to the building.It causes illness in humans and animals.
Best weather conditions for growthDamp conditionAny weather condition

 

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows on a surface in multicellular filaments, known as hyphae. These are microscopic organisms and cannot be seen with the naked eye, although the network-created filaments are visible.

There are different types of hyphae; those are; coenocytic or non-septate hyphae, septate hyphae with unicellular cells, and septate hyphae with multicellular cells.      

Molds grow better in moisture; thus, they are seen near damp places, for example, in pieces, water tanks, or around any leakage area in the roof.

Molds can also grow on surfaces like paper, cardboard, wallpaper, fabric, etc.

The sexual multiplication or formation of hyphae includes meiosis (the procedure of cellular division and creating new haploid cells different from parent cells).

The fusion of two haploid cells forms zygospores, and these zygospores undergo the process of meiosis in favorable conditions.

In the case of asexual reproduction, some sporangiospores are released from a different type of hyphae known as sporangiophores.

These diploid cells, sporangiospores, undergo the process of mitosis, creating cells identical to parent cells.

Molds are desirable for the natural environment as it helps in the decomposition of organic material like dead trees, fallen leaves, or any dead animal.

For human life, the presence of mold is not considered desirable; rather, it becomes a matter of concern.

Human exposure to mold can cause different types of problems in the human body, like; sore throat, fatigue, coughing, sneezing, headache, etc. An allergy test can be done, but there is no specific test for how mold exposure is done.

mold
 

What is Fungus?

The fungus is any microscopic organism member of the eukaryotic organism family. These eukaryotic organisms include microorganisms like mold, yeast, and mushrooms.

Fungi (plural of fungus) are eukaryotic and heterotrophic organisms. Fungi are capable of absorbing organic carbon, and these organisms are aerobic.

There are some types of fungi species that are dimorphic and have the capability of growing according to the temperature or carbon dioxide concentration. For example, mold and yeast.

Different fungi reproduce differently; for example, yeast is unicellular and reproduces vegetatively by budding; on the other hand, mushrooms have a macroscopic sexual organ, wherein the sexual spores are produced.

Fungi reproduce by the production of spores which can be sexual or asexual. Sexual reproduction is done by infusion of two haploid nuclei. Asexual reproduction involves the division of the nucleus. This process is known as meiosis.    

Fungi are important for the environment as they act as decomposers; for example, mycorrhizal fungi are essential for the growth of plants.

Fungi are also important for food in case of fermentation of several items like alcoholic beverages, cheese, bread, etc.

Fungi can also be harmful to humans, especially in the case of food; fungi can also destroy timber and can also cause damage to crops as fungi cause most plant diseases, which might cause economic loss.

Fungi can cause skin and internal infections like candidiasis, including candida infections of the mouth, throat, esophagus and vaginal candidiasis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, fungal eye infection, etc.

fungus

Main Differences Between Mold and Fungus

  1. A mold is a group of fungi, whereas fungi are a kingdom that includes different types of fungi, for example, yeast, mushroom, mold, etc.
  2. Molds are multicellular organisms, whereas fungi can be multicellular or unicellular, depending upon the type of fungus.
  3. Molds are aerobic, but some of the fungi are anaerobic organisms.
  4. Molds grow best in damp conditions. On the contrary, fungi or fungi can grow in various temperatures and weather conditions.
  5. Mold growth can cause damage to buildings, discolor possessions, and can cause a musty and unpleasant odor; on the other hand, fungi or fungus can cause illness or diseases in animals and humans.
Difference Between Mold and Fungus

References
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4008836
  2. https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/MPMI.2000.13.7.724
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