Difference Between Mold and Fungus (With Table)

Mold vs Fungus

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 are organisms which can be seen with naked eyes but their presence is evident when seen through a microscope.

They maintain life on earth by breaking down the dead plants and animal matter into simple substances which are used at the beginning of the food chain. They are present everywhere be it air, human body, soil, water, etc. Microorganisms can be good or bad.

Good microorganisms are the organisms which help in antibiotics or processes like fermentation, production of enzymes or vitamins, etc.. Bad microorganisms can be defined as organisms which cause diseases or are harmful in any way for the environment.

Microorganisms can be single or multiple cell bodies. They can multiply easily under favourable weather conditions and can cause several changes when they get multiple they might not be visible in every case but most of the times the result of their multiplication can be seen easily, for example, curd, when the curd is formed from milk bacterias are not visible.

The difference between mould and fungus is that mould is a type of fungus whereas fungus is a wider term which includes other types of fungi as well. They are used interchangeably but have differences.


 

Comparison Table Between Mold and Fungus

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

 

What is Mold?

Mould is a type of fungus which grows on a surface in multicellular filaments, these filaments are known as hyphae. These are microscopic organisms and cannot be seen with naked eyes, 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, septate hyphae with multicellular cells.      

Moulds grow better in moisture, thus they are usually seen near places which are damp for example in pieces, water tanks, or around any leakage area in the roof. Moulds can also grow on surfaces like paper, cardboard, wallpaper, any kind of fabric, etc..

The process of sexual multiplication or formation of hyphae includes meiosis (the procedure of cellular division and creating new haploid cells different from parent cells). Zygospores are formed by the fusion of two haploid cells and these zygospores undergo the process of meiosis in favourable conditions.

In the case of asexual reproduction, there are sporangiospores which are released from a different type of hyphae known as sporangiophores. These diploid cells, sporangiospores undergo the process of mitosis which creates cells which are identical to parent cells.

Moulds 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 mould is not considered desirable, rather it becomes a matter of concern.

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

Mold
 

What is Fungus?

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

Fungi (plural of fungus) eukaryotic and heterotrophic organisms.fungi is 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, mould and yeast.

Different types of fungi reproduce differently, for example, yeast is unicellular and reproduce 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 division of 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 is important for food as well in case of fermentation of several food items like alcoholic beverages, cheese, bread, etc..

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

Fungi can cause skin infections and internal infections like candidiasis which includes candida infections of mouth, throat, oesophagus and vaginal candidiasis, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, fungal eye infection etc..

Fungus

Main Differences Between Mold and Fungus

  •   Mould is a group of fungi whereas Fungus is a kingdom which includes different types of fungus for example yeast, mushroom, mould, etc..
  •   Mould are multicellular organisms whereas fungus can be multicellular or unicellular depending upon the type of fungus.
  • Moulds are aerobic but some of the fungi are anaerobic organisms.
  • Moulds grow best in damp conditions on contrary fungi or fungus can grow in a variety of temperature and weather conditions.
  • Mould growth can cause damage to buildings, discolour possessions, can cause musty, and unpleasant odour, on the other hand, fungi or fungus can cause illness or diseases in animals and humans.

 

Conclusion

Moulds and fungus have negligible differences as mould is also a type of fungus. Moulds and fungus are good for the environment as they act as decomposers for the environment.

Both of them are good for humans to some extent and bad too for health. Moulds and fungus are an important part of the ecosystem. Both of them have a large variety of species.

References

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