Bacteria vs. Fungi

The main difference between bacteria and fungi is that bacteria are prokaryotes while fungi are eukaryotes. Bacteria may be autotrophs as well as heterotrophs while fungi are always heterotrophs. Autotrophs are the organisms which do not need a host for their survival while heterotrophs are the organisms which do need a host for their growth or survival.

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bacteria vs fungi

Bacteria are prokaryotic organisms, i.e., they do not have well-defined nucleus within a nuclear membrane while fungi are eukaryotic organisms, i.e., they contain a well-defined membrane-bound nucleus and well developed cellular organelles. Bacteria are unicellular organisms while fungi are multicellular organisms.

One other important difference is that the cell wall of bacterial cells is made up of peptidoglycan while that of a fungal cell is made up of chitin. The cell membrane is present in both a bacterial as well as fungal cell. A bacterial cell can assume one of these three shapes, rounded (cocci), rod-shaped (bacilli) and spiral-shaped( Spirella). The fungal cells differ in shapes, but most of them assume a filament shape called hyphae. Mode of reproduction of bacterial cells is asexual while fungi can reproduce both by sexually or asexually.

Bacteria are motile, and they move by flagellum which is a long thread-like outgrowth emerging from the body of bacteria. Fungi are nonmotile. Bacteria get their energy from fats, proteins, and sugars while fungi get their energy for growth and reproduction from already present sources in the environment and decayed matter. Both bacteria and fungi can cause many diseases in human beings. Bacteria can cause diphtheria, leprosy, tetanus, tuberculosis, pertussis, and cholera, etc. Fungi can cause aspergillosis, candidiasis, oral thrush, athlete’s foot, ringworm infection and other skin infections.

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Contents: Difference between Bacteria and Fungi

Comparison chart

Basis Bacteria Fungi
Definition Bacteria are old prokaryotic organisms which contain a cell membrane, cell wall, nuclear material, and some other accessory structures.Fungi are a eukaryotic organism which contains a cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, and other cellular organelles.
Auto or heterotrophs Bacteria may be autotrophs or heterotrophs.Fungi are always heterotrophs.
Unicellular or multicellular Bacteria are unicellular.Fungi are multicellular.
Assume forms Bacteria may occur in many forms like rounded( cocci) , rod-shaped (bacilli) , oval (coccobacillus) and spiral-shaped (spirilla).Fungi may assume many shapes, but most of the fungal cells are formed in filament shaped called hyphae.
Cell wallThe cell wall is composed of peptidoglycan.The component of the cell wall is composed of chitin.
Presence of nucleus A well-defined nucleus is not present in a bacterial cell. Chromatin material is dispersed in the cell.A well-defined nucleus covered within the nuclear envelope is present in the fungal cells.
Cellular organelles Well, developed cellar organelles are not present within the bacterial cell.Well developed cellular organelles are present within the fungal cell-like mitochondria, Golgi body, and SER and RER.
Motility The bacterial cell is motile. They move with the help of flagella.Fungal cells are not motile.
Mode of reproduction They reproduce asexually.Fungi can reproduce both by the asexual or sexual method.
How they get energy Bacteria get their energy by fats, protein or sugars. They can synthesize their food own or obtain from a host.Fungi get their energy from already present matter in the environment. They always need a host to get their energy.
Presence of  cell membrane Cell membrane is present. The cell membrane is present.
Diseases caused by They cause many diseases like TB, meningitis, endocarditis, leprosy, diphtheria, pertussis, bronchitis, gastritis, etc.They can cause many diseases like candidiasis, aspergillosis, oral thrush, ringworm infection, and other skin infections.
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What are Bacteria?

Bacteria are the most ancient prokaryotic organisms present on earth. They evolved almost 3.5 billion years ago. They are said to be prokaryotes because they do not have a true nucleus in the cells and well developed cellular organelles. Although they contain cell wall composed of peptidoglycan and true cell membrane. Their chromatin material is dispersed throughout the cell. Bacteria may be autotrophs or heterotrophs. Autotrophs are the organisms which synthesize their own food by the process of photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. Heterotrophs are the organisms which need other organisms as host for energy. Bacteria reproduce by the asexual method. They can assume various shapes like rounded (cocci) , rod-shaped (bacilli) , oval (coccobacillus) and spiral shaped.

The components of a bacterial cell are a cell wall, cell membrane, nucleoid, pilus (a hollow attachment on the surface of bacteria), mesosome, flagellum which help in motility, fimbriae( small hair-like structures which are helpful in mating), ribosomes, granules, and endospores.

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Bacteria can cause many diseases in humans like sore throat, tetanus, TB, leprosy, diphtheria, meningitis, endocarditis, cholera, and pertussis, etc.

What are Fungi?

Fungi are the organisms which are eukaryotes, i.e., contain a true nucleus and well-defined organelles and heterotrophs. It means they are always dependent upon other organisms for energy production. They get energy by decaying the matter present in the surrounding. Fungi contain cell wall which is composed of chitin. Fungi may be unicellular or multicellular. Unicellular fungi are called yeast while multicellular fungi are called hyphae which assume the form of a filament. Fungi are not motile. They can reproduce both by the sexual or asexual method. They can cause various diseases like aspergillosis, candidiasis, oral or vaginal thrush, ringworm or other skin infections.

Key differences

  1. Bacteria may be autotrophs or heterotrophs while fungi are always heterotrophs.
  2. Bacteria are always unicellular while fungi may be unicellular or multicellular.
  3. Bacteria do not have enveloped nucleus and well-developed organelles while fungi have nuclear membrane enveloped nucleus and well-developed organelles
  4. The bacterial cell wall is made up of peptidoglycan while fungal cell wall is composed of chitin.
  5. Bacteria are motile. They move with the help of flagella while fungi are not motile.

Conclusion

Both bacteria and fungi are the organisms commonly found in our environment and both cause diseases in human beings. Both have differences in their structures and energy obtaining mechanisms. It is important to know the differences between both. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between bacteria and fungi.

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