The key difference between bacterial endospores and fungal spores is the cellular organization of the two types of spores. Bacterial endospores are dormant structures present in prokaryotic bacteria. Fungal spores are reproductive structures present in eukaryotic fungi.
Bacterial endospores are present within the bacterial cells, and they are dormant structures that can survive the harsh environment conditions. Consequently, these endospores germinate when the suitable environment conditions get fulfilled. In contrast, fungal spores are exospores that release to the exterior for sporulation.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Bacterial Endospores
3. What are Fungal Spores
4. Similarities Between Bacterial Endospores and Fungal Spores
5. Side by Side Comparison – Bacterial Endospores vs Fungal Spores in Tabular Form
What are Bacterial Endospores?
Bacterial endospores are prokaryotic in nature and present in spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus, Clostridium, etc. These are dormant structures in bacteria that survive extreme harsh environment conditions such as temperature fluctuations, radiations and toxicity conditions. The entire process of spore formation happens in different phases.
It is the process in which the spore forms. A double membrane forms between the fragments of DNA covering the endospore. These membranes then synthesise peptidoglycan. Calcium dipicolinate is also incorporated to the developing forespore. Keratin like protein forms the spore coat. Following the bacterial degradation, the spore releases. Germination takes place only when the conditions are appropriate.
The spore wall breaks during germination, and the new vegetative cell forms. The breaking of the spore wall occurs through physical, chemical or radiation methods. This formed vegetative cell is then capable of growth and reproduction. The vegetative cell emerges as an outgrowth of the endospore during the germination.
What are Fungal Spores?
Fungal spores are of eukaryotic origin. Spores are present as reproductive structures in fungi. These spores are exospores and depending on different classes, the exospores have different names such as Ascospores, Basidiospores, Zoospores, etc. Fungal spores are microscopic and differ in size, shape, colour and the mode of release. The spores usually disperse through the air or as droplets. Some release during specific seasons or throughout the year.
Fungal spores are industrially important as they can lead to many fungal borne infections in plants. These include common plant pathogens such as Botrytis cinerea and Cochliobolus heterostrophus. Some fungal spores act as skin allergens.
What are the Similarities Between Bacterial Endospores and Fungal Spores?
- Both are microscopic structures.
- Both Bacterial Endospores and Fungal Spores are capable of reproduction and growth.
What is the Difference Between Bacterial Endospores and Fungal Spores?
Bacterial Endospores vs Fungal Spores
|Bacterial endospores are dormant structures present in prokaryotic bacteria.||Fungal spores are reproductive structures present in eukaryotic fungi.|
|Type of Spore|
|Endospore originates inside.||Fungal spores originate to the outside. Hence, they are exospores.|
|Endospore has a thick structure with a spore coat.||Fungal spores are varied in size, shape and colour.|
|Presence of Dipocolinate|
|Dipocolinate is present in endospores.||Dipocolinate is absent in fungal spores.|
|In endospores, heat resistance is high.||Heat resistance is Low in fungal spores.|
|Chemical and Radiation Resistance|
|Endospores are resistant to chemicals and radiation.||Fungal spores are less resistant to chemicals and radiation.|
|Bacillus, Clostridium, etc produce endospores.||Aspergillus, Penicillium, moulds, yeast, produce fungal spores.|
Summary – Bacterial Endospores vs Fungal Spores
Bacterial endospores and fungal spores are two special structures involved in reproduction and growth of bacteria and fungi respectively. Bacterial endospores exist as in built structures. When the bacteria undergo harsh conditions, a vegetative cell of the bacterium degrades, but the endospore survives. When the germination conditions are optimal, the vegetative cells form following sporulation. In contrast, fungal spores are exospores that can undergo reproduction when they release to the environment. This is the difference between bacterial endospores and fungal spores.
1.’Puffball spores in SEM stereoscopic, magnification 5000x’By SecretDisc – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Endospore Diagram’By Alayna5231 – Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia