Difference Between Plants and Fungi (with Table)

There are nearly 8.7 million species of living beings on the earth and studying about them individually would have taken a lot of time. Therefore, the scientists spent years and years to classify the species into different kingdoms based on their characteristics and two such kingdoms are Plants and Fungi. In the beginning, Fungi was also considered as a plant but later a separate kingdom was formed due to its variant characteristics.

The difference between plants and fungi is that the main cell wall component is chitin(N-acetylglucosamine) in fungi whereas the main cell wall component is cellulose(glucose) in plants. Also, plants have chlorophyll which they use to conduct photosynthesis whereas fungi don’t have chlorophyll as they absorb all the nutrients they need from the soil.

Comparison Table Between Plants and Fungi

Parameter of ComparisonPlantsFungi
Cell-Wall ComponentThe major cell-wall component in plants is cellulose which is glucose.The major cell- wall component in fungi is chitin which is N-acetylglucosamine
Trophic LevelThe trophic level of plants is producers.The trophic level of fungi is decomposers.
BodyThe plant’s body consists of roots, stems, and leaves.The fungi’s body is filamentous, it is made up of mycelium and hyphae.
Stored foodIn plants, the stored food is starch.In fungi, the stored food is glycogen.
ReproductionPlants reproduce by seeds.Fungi reproduce by spores.
Chlorophyll existencePlants have chlorophyll which they use to conduct photosynthesis.Fungi don’t have chlorophyll as they absorb all the nutrients from the soil.

What are Plants?

Plants are organisms from the kingdom Plantae that conduct photosynthesis to make their own food. There are more than 300,000 species present on the earth. Plants are very important for living beings as they produce most of the world’s oxygen. They are also important in the food chain as many organisms rely on plants only for their survival.

Plants make their food via photosynthesis, which is the process of making nutrients like sugars from light energy and carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis takes place in chloroplasts which contain chlorophyll and carotenoids which absorb light energy and convert it into a usable form.

Plants are essential as many organisms feed on plants that is why they are the primary producers in many ecosystems and are responsible for the survival of all living organisms as they are the only producers of oxygen which is very important. Plants have the capability to reproduce both sexually and asexually and have an alteration of generations. 

There are types of plants, they are:

  1. Charophytes:  These are complex green algae that have chloroplasts in their They do sexual reproduction and some of them have sperms with flagella.
  2. Bryophytes: These plants are nonvascular, that is, they don’t have vascular tissue. Vascular tissue is the tissue that transports water and nutrients. These plants are found both on land and in water. Bryophytes do have parts that are similar to stems, roots, and leaves but those are not actually roots, stems, and leaves. Some examples of Bryophytes are mosses, liverworts, and hornworts.
  3. Seedless Vascular Plants: These are vascular plants that lack seeds and reproduce via spores. Firstly, these plants were known as pteridophytes, but later this group wasn’t considered right because of the varying properties of some plants. Some examples of this type of plants are ferns, horsetails, clubmosses, and spikemosses.
  4. Gymnosperms: The seeds of these plants are not hidden inside an ovary, instead their seeds are present on the surface of leaves. Some examples are conifers, ginkgoes, and cycads.
  5. Angiosperms: These are flowering plants and are the most widespread ones as well. There are more than 295,000 different species of such type. Their reproductive organs are flowers, whose female parts are pistil and male parts are stamen and pollen.
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What are Fungi?

Fungi is a kingdom of multicellular heterotrophic organisms that play important role in the nutrients cycle of the ecosystem. Fungi can reproduce both sexually as well as asexually. They also share some characteristics with plants and bacteria. 

Fungi are both single-celled as well as muti-celled organisms. The single-celled fungi are known as yeast. The cells of fungi have a nucleus and organelles similar to plants and animals. The cell walls of fungi have chitin and lack cellulose which are the main element of the cell wall.

Most fungi are capable of reproducing both sexually as well as asexually. Asexual reproduction takes place through the release of spores or through the process of mycelial fragmentation which takes place when the mycelium separates into multiple that later grows separately. In sexual reproduction, separate individuals fuse their hyphae together.

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Main Differences Between Plants and Fungi

  1. The major cell-wall component in plants is cellulose which is glucose whereas the major cell-wall component in fungi is chitin which is N-acetylglucosamine.
  2. The trophic level of plants is producers whereas the trophic level of fungi is decomposers. in the world’s ecosystem.
  3. The plant’s body consists of roots, stems, and leaves whereas the fungi’s body is filamentous, it is made up of mycelium and hyphae.
  4. In plants, the stored food is starch whereas, in fungi, the stored food is glycogen.
  5. Plants reproduce by seeds whereas Fungi reproduce by spores.
  6. Plants have chlorophyll which they use to conduct photosynthesis whereas Fungi don’t have chlorophyll as they absorb all the nutrients from the soil.

Conclusion

 The main cell wall component is chitin(N-acetylglucosamine) in fungi whereas the main cell wall component is cellulose(glucose) in plants. Also, plants have chlorophyll which they use to conduct photosynthesis whereas fungi don’t have chlorophyll as they absorb all the nutrients they need from the soil. They both are capable of sexual as well as asexual reproduction.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0304415788900172
  2. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/293/5532/1129.abstract