Difference Between Bacteria and Fungi

Bacteria vs Fungi

All living organisms are classified as either prokaryotes or eukaryotes according to the location the DNA exists. Prokaryotic cells do not have nuclear membrane enclosing the nucleus whereas eukaryotic nucleus is enclosed with a nuclear membrane.

According to this classification, bacteria are prokaryotic, and fungi are eukaryotic. However, bacteria and fungi have similarities too. Both of them have characteristics such as living and reproducing. Most of them are microscopic. Some of bacteria and fungi are parasitic.

What is Bacteria?

This is the most ancient group of living organisms. They have very simple cell structure. Most of them are unicellular, but may have special features; having chains or clusters. Mainly, they do not have nucleus enclosed with the nuclear membrane; so, they are called prokaryotes.

The length of a bacterium ranges from 0.1µm to 10µm. They have circular naked DNA, which is not covered with histone proteins. 70s ribosomes are associated with cells, synthesizing proteins. Although few organelles can be seen in bacteria cells, they are not covered with membranes.

The cell wall is made up of murein, which composed of polysaccharide with amino acids. Due to the differences in cell wall structure bacteria can be divided into two groups called Gram negative and Gram positive. Many bacteria have flagella, and they are motile.

Bacteria reproduce asexually by binary fission and sexual reproduction also occurs by genetic recombination. Bacteria occupy many environments such as soil, air, water, dust. They may occur at extreme environments such as volcanoes, deep-sea, alkaline or acid water. Bacteria are either photoautotrophs or heterotrophs.

What is Fungi?

Although plant and animal fungi are eukaryotes, which have a true nucleus, they have been grouped separately for animals and plants. Fungi have a unique body structure, which can be distinguished from other kingdoms (Taylor, 1998).

Fungi consist of hyphae, which are thread like, and all hyphae together are called mycelium (mold). Fungi can be found as unicellular organisms such as yeast (Saccharomyces) or in multi cellular form such as Penicillium.

All these two types of fungi have rigid cell wall made up of chitin which is a nitrogen containing polysaccharide (Taylor, 1998). These fungi cells contain eukaryotic organelles, Golgi bodies, ribosomes, vacuoles, and endoplasmic reticulum. They have enveloped with a membrane or two. Genetic material is DNA which is covered with histone proteins.

Fungi have sexual reproduction as well as asexual reproduction by mean of spores. Fungi are classified according to the method of reproduction. Zygomycota, Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Deuteromycota are four phyla of fungi. Fungi can occur in dead material, soil, also in water. Fungi have heterotrophic nutrition because of lacking chlorophylls like plants; they are not photoautotrophs.

What is the difference between Bacteria and Fungi?

  • The main difference between bacteria and fungi is bacteria are prokaryotes whereas fungi are eukaryotes.
  • Bacteria do not have nucleus enclosed with nuclear membrane, but fungi have.
  • Bacteria do not have hyphae whereas fungi have hyphae, and all hyphae together form the mycelium.
  • The cell wall of bacteria is made of murein, which composed of polysaccharide with amino acids (peptidoglycan), whereas fungi cell walls are made up from chitin which is a nitrogen containing polysaccharides.
  • These fungi cells contain eukaryotic organelles, Golgi bodies, ribosomes, vacuoles, and endoplasmic reticulum which have enveloped with a membrane or two while bacteria have only few organelles which are not enveloped with membranes.
  • Bacteria may occur at extreme environments such as volcanoes, deep-sea, alkaline or acid water while fungi are not occurring at such harsh environments.
  • Bacteria are either photoautotrophs or heterotrophs, but fungi are only heterotrophs.

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