Difference Between Yeast and Fungi

Yeast vs Fungi

The group fungi include unicellular and multicellular organisms that are found almost all parts of the world. They show both asexual and sexual reproduction methods. Recent studies show that fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants according to their existing DNA and protein sequences. All the fungi are heterotrophs and depend upon other organisms, to gain food and nutrients. Basically, the group fungi include moulds, the organisms with filamentous multicellular bodies, and yeasts, the organisms with rounded unicellular bodies. Many fungi species and certain yeasts species cause fungal infections in humans.


Yeasts are considered as unicellular group of fungi due to the similar characteristic features found in other fungi species. Yeast is a very popular fungus, which is used commercially to ferment alcohol and produce bakery products. They can convert carbohydrates into alcohols and CO2 during their energy gaining process under anaerobic conditions. Alcohol is used in the brewing industry, whereas CO2 is used in the baking industry. Yeasts reproduce asexually through budding and sexually through the formation of ascospores.


The filaments of fungi can be straight, irregular curved or bent filaments with true branching. These one cell thick filaments are called ‘hyphae’. Cells are rectangular in shape and contain cellular organelles and large intracellular granules. The cell wall is thick and is usually made up of chitin. The network of branched hyphae is called mycelium, through which they absorb foods. Fungi show both asexual and sexual reproduction by producing spores. The spores that are produced in asexual reproduction is called conidia. They form at tips of specialized hyphae called conidiophores. In certain fungi, the sexual reproduction has been lost or unknown.

What is the difference between Yeast and Fungi?

• Yeast is a type of fungus.

• General structure of the fungi is multicellular with tubular, filamentous hyphae, whereas that of yeast is unicellular, rounded shape.

• Unlike the fungi, yeast exists either as individual cells or as cells with growing buds on them.

• Reproduction method of fungi is either sexual or asexual while that of yeast is budding or binary fission.

• Most fungi are tread-like in shape with various colors and hues, whereas yeasts are round or oval in shape with dull colored (mostly monochromatic).

• Fungi (except yeast) produce energy by secreting hydrolytic enzymes that degrade biopolymers such as starch, cellulose, and lignin into simpler forms that can be absorbed, whereas yeast obtain energy by converting carbohydrates to alcohol and CO2 under anaerobic condition (fermentation).

• There are about 1500 of known yeast species, which represent 1% of all known fungi species.