Difference Between Actinomycetes and Bacteria

Main Difference

The main difference between actinomycetes and bacteria is that actinomycetes are considered as the temporary state of the fungi but are actually a type of bacteria, whereas bacteria have simple cellular body and considered a single-celled organism.

Actinomycetes vs. Bacteria

Actinomycetes are considered as filamentous bacteria, whereas bacteria are considered as a large group of microorganisms with no membrane-bound organelles and having a murine cell wall. Actinomycetes generally belong to the order Actinomycetales, while bacteria are considered as a domain. Actinomycetes are gram-positive bacteria; on the other hand, bacteria can be either gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria.

Actinomycetes are plentiful than to bacteria; on the contrary, bacteria are considered as the most abundant forms of microorganisms. Actinomycetes are generally considered a facultative anaerobe; conversely, bacteria are known as anaerobes, aerobes, or facultative aerobes. Actinomycetes regarding their shape are oval-shaped; on the flip side, bacteria can be spherical-shaped or rod-like.

Actinomycetes produce powdery colonies that stick firmly to agar and their colonies grow slowly; on the flip side, bacteria produce colonies that are slimy or distinct, and bacterial colonies grow faster. Actinomycetes produce conidia and hyphae like fungi; conversely, bacteria do not produce such structures. Actinomycetes are generally non-motile, while some bacteria are motile and can move.

Comparison Chart

ActinomycetesBacteria
Actinomycetes are considered as filamentous bacteria and are the transitional state of fungi from bacteria.Bacteria have a simple cellular structure and considered as a single-celled organism with a large group of microorganisms with no membrane-bound organelles and having a murine cell wall.
Taxonomy
Belong to the order ActinomycetalesConsidered as a domain
Gram-Positive or Gram-Negative
gram-positive bacteriaEither gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria
Abundance
Are abundant than to bacteriaAre the most abundant types of microorganisms
Type of Respiration
A facultative anaerobeCan be anaerobes, aerobes, or facultative aerobes
Shape
Oval-shapedCan be spherical-shaped or rod-like
Colony Structure
Produce powdery colonies that stick firmly to agar and their colonies grow slowlyProduce colonies that are slimy or distinct and bacterial colonies grow faster
Hyphae and Conidia
Produce conidia and hyphae like fungiDo not produce such structures
Motility
Non-motileMotile

What are Actinomycetes?

Actinomycetes are reflected as the temporary condition of the fungi but are actually considered as the form of higher bacteria. The important characteristic feature of actinomycetes is the formation of conidia and hyphae like fungi. Actinomycetes are actually been at variance from fungi because of the occurrence of murine in the cell wall of fungi.

Actinomycetes as normal microbiota in animals, live in soil, and decaying organic matter. Some species of actinomycetes are generally associated with plants by involving in nitrogen fixation. Actinomycetes usually are appropriate to the order Actinomycetaceae which is further categorized into four families: Actinomycetaceae, Strepto mycetaceae, Mycobacteriaceae, and Actinoplanaceae.

The specific part that actinomycetes play is the decaying and the decomposition of dead organic substance whereas some of the actinomycetes also play a role in the formation of antibiotics such as streptomycin. Some species of actinomycetes are important pathogens for instance nocardiosis which is caused by Nocardia asteroids which causes infection of the brain, lungs, or skin of humans.

Other actinomycetes species cause a severe dermatitis of sheep, cattle, horses, and occasionally humans, while some actinomycetes are harmless to the higher plants and animals. Actinomycetes are abundant than to bacteria. Actinomycetes are characteristically considered as gram-positive bacteria. Actinomycetes produce dry colonies which twig resolutely to agar, and their colonies grow slowly, and they are non-motile.

What are the Bacteria?

Bacteria have a simple cellular structure and considered as a single-celled organism with a large group of microorganisms with no membrane-bound organelles and having a murine cell wall. Bacteria are generally the type of unicellular prokaryotes whose cell wall is made up of murine polysaccharides. They lack a nucleus. The genetic material of bacteria consists of a circular double-stranded DNA which is located in the nucleoid. Bacteria undergo 70S ribosomes. Many genes of bacteria are involved in the extrachromosomal components for instance plasmids.

Some bacteria are motile which can move from place to place and have flagella. The flagellum of bacteria is produced of approximately 20 proteins with additional 30 types of proteins which are essential for bacterial instruction and gathering. Some basic types of bacteria are Bacillus, Coccus, and Spirillum.

Bacteria reproduce through asexual reproduction by the process of binary fission. Sexual reproduction in bacteria rarely occurs in the process of conjugation. The habitats of bacteria include water, soil, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and some many abysmal parts of the earth. They can also live as parasitic and as symbiotic relationships with animals and plants.

Almost all the animal and human life are reliant on bacterial production for their existence and survival because only bacteria own the important genes and enzymes which are necessary for vitamin B12 which is also known as Cobalamin which is provided through the food chain to all over the organisms. Bacteria characteristically could be any gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria.

Key Differences

  1. Actinomycetes are considered as filamentous bacteria, whereas bacteria are considered as a large group of microorganisms with no membrane-bound organelles and having a murine cell wall.
  2. Actinomycetes generally belong to the order Actinomycetales, while bacteria are considered as a domain.
  3. Actinomycetes are characteristically considered as gram-positive bacteria; on the other hand, bacteria characteristically could be any gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria.
  4. Actinomycetes are plentiful than to bacteria; on the contrary, bacteria are considered as the most abundant forms of microorganisms.
  5. Actinomycetes are generally considered a facultative anaerobe; conversely, bacteria are known as anaerobes, aerobes, or facultative aerobes.
  6. Actinomycetes regarding their shape are oval-shaped; on the flip side, bacteria can be spherical-shaped or rod-like.
  7. Actinomycetes produce dry colonies which twig resolutely to agar; on the flip side, bacteria produce colonies that are greasy or distinct.
  8. Actinomycetes bacteria produce colonies that usually produce slowly, while bacterial colonies normally produce quicker.
  9. Actinomycetes produce conidia and hyphae like fungi; conversely, bacteria do not produce such structures.
  10. Actinomycetes are generally non-motile, while some bacteria are motile and can move.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that actinomycetes are considered as the transitional state of the fungi from bacteria but are a type of bacteria and are abundant in number but next to bacteria, whereas bacteria have simple cellular structure and a single-celled organism and abundant in all microorganisms.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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