Difference Between Mold and Fungus

Main Difference

The main difference between Mold and Fungus is that Mold is a superficial often woolly growth produced on moist or decaying organic matter or living organisms by a fungus whereas Fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that comprises microorganisms such as yeasts and mushrooms.

Mold vs. Fungus

Mold is a fungus that cultivates in the form of multicellular filaments or threads called hyphae; in contrast, Fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that comprises microorganisms such as yeasts and mushrooms. There are about more than 100,00 species of molds which is commonly seen in damp, dark or steam-filled areas while Fungus comes in a variety of different shapes, size and types of over 200,00 species present and commonly found in acidic medium, soil, freshwater, seawater, fruits, vegetables, and on mammals skin. Mold is a large group of fungi that can spread on food or in humid, damp and dark areas while fungus grows best in acidic medium, in the soil, in our body, on plants and animals, even in freshwater and seawater. Mold grows only in aerobic condition on the contrary fungus can grow aerobically as well anaerobically. Molds are eukaryotic microorganisms, which reproduce both sexually (meiosis) or asexually (mitosis) on the other hand fungus reproduce asexually and stationary but they can spread by forming reproductive spores. Mold act as both useful as in making antibiotics, biodegradation, soy food as well as harmful cause allergies, respiratory problems for the human. The fungus is useful in food production, fermentation, the medical value, in the same manner, create some lung disease, weaken the immune system, candidiasis in humans.

Comparison Chart

MoldFungus
A large group of fungi that can spread on food or in moist areasA group of spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter
Kind of Cell
MulticellularSingle Cell
Types
More than 100,000 speciesOver 200,000 species
Shape
Filamentous and thread-likeRound or oval
Mode of Reproduction
Asexual and sexualAsexual
Color
Colorful (purple, orange, black), wooly and fuzzySmooth, and colorful (pink, green, brown, white)
Aerobic/Anaerobic
AerobicAerobic as well as anaerobic
Uses
In making antibiotics, biodegradation, and soy foodFood production, fermentation, and medical value
Health Hazards
Cause allergies, respiratory problemsLung disease, weakened the immune system, candidiasis
Examples
Penicillium, Rhizopus, AspergillusMushroom, and yeast

What is Mold?

Mold is a superficial often woolen growth produced on moist or decaying organic matter or living organisms by a fungus. Mold is a large group of fungi that can spread on food or in humid areas. Molds are described as filament or thread-like because they arrange in a long filament-like, or thread-like, strands of cells called hyphae. Mold appears as colonies of fuzzy appearance due to hyphae. Mold discharge hydrolytic enzymes from hyphal tips, which destroy starch, lignin, and cellulose. Molds are eukaryotic microorganisms and multicellular, which reproduce both sexually (meiosis) or asexually (mitosis). Mold is characterizing by aerial spores. There are 3500 of molds types and more than 100,000 species found commonly seen in humid, dark or steam-filled areas. Mold act as decomposers by decaying nature’s organic wastes. Mold also used in medicine in making antibiotics such as penicillin, Lovastatin (cholesterol- lowering), cyclosporine (immune suppressants). Mold is frequently useful in the manufacture of food and beverages like rennet, cheese. Certain molds are harmful to health that can cause allergies, headaches, rashes, other respiratory problems, and itching, etc.

Examples

Penicillium, Rhizopus, Aspergillus, etc.

What is Fungus?

The fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that comprises microorganisms such as yeasts and mushrooms. Fungus comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and different types range over 200,000 species. Fungus ranges from single cells to huge chains of cells that can make expanse for miles. Fungus includes single-celled, such as yeast, living things that occur individually and multicellular clusters, mushrooms. Fungus cells look round or oval under a microscope and mostly grow asexually. Fungus cells are too small to see as individuals but can see large bands of a white powdery coating on fruits and leaves. The fungus grows best in slightly acidic environments. They can grow on substances with very low humidity. The fungus grows in the soil, in our body, on plants and animals, even in freshwater and seawater. A single teaspoon of topsoil contains about 120,000 fungus cell. Fungus cells are stationary. But they can spread by forming reproductive spores. The fungus grows on nutrients absorb from living or dead organic matter. Fungus cells absorb easily dissolved nutrients, such as sugars. The fungus is quite useful to us in taking antibiotics to fight against bacterial infections. Yeast is also useful to make bread rise and to brew beer. The fungus breaks down dead plants and animals and keeps the world organized. Natural fungal enemies of insect pests are made to get rid of these bugs. Some types of fungus may cause Lung disease, weakened the immune system, candidiasis.

Examples

Mushroom, and yeast.

Key Differences

  1. Molds are multicellular reproduce sexually or asexually whereas fungus is single-celled organisms, which reproduce asexually mainly by binary fission or budding.
  2. There are about more than 100,00 species of molds which is commonly seen in damp, dark or steam-filled areas while over 200,00 species of fungus are present and commonly found in fruits, vegetables, on mammals skin.
  3. Mold is characterizing as colorful (purple, orange and black) wooly and fuzzy, but fungus is mostly smooth and colorless with minor shades of white, pink, brown.
  4. Mold grows best in humid or dark areas conversely fungus can grow best in slightly acid and everywhere on land.
  5. Mold grows only in aerobic condition on the contrary fungus can grow aerobically as well anaerobically.
  6. Molds also cause allergies and other respiratory diseases on the flip side fungus may cause infection with the weak immune system.
  7. Mold is very useful as making antibiotics, biodegradation, soy food whereas fungus is useful as food production, fermentation, and medical value.

Conclusion

As above discussed, Mold is multicellular with hyphae and can reproduce sexually or asexually; use in making antibiotics, cheese making, on the other hand, Fungus is a single cell, grow everywhere, reproduce asexually used in food beverages, and fermentation.

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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