Mushrooms vs Fungus
We all know that mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi, and so to find the differences between mushrooms and fungi is like finding difference between apples and apple trees. But apples are certainly different from apple trees, aren’t they? Mushrooms are fungi that result from decaying of materials. If you leave a bread piece open for a few days, you would see growth of fungi on it. This is how there is a growth of fungus in our lawns and gardens. Even human beings have fungal problems that require medication. But in this article, we are mainly concerned with mushrooms and fungus. Are they the same or is there any difference? Let us find out.
What we call mushrooms are reproductive organs of certain types of fungi. Fungi are a kingdom of organisms such as molds, mushrooms and yeasts that are totally different from plants and animals. Study of fungi is called mycology, which is a part of botany, though scientists have proved that fungi are closer to animals than plants as they do not depend upon photosynthesis to make their food and grow in dark, damp areas.
As described above, calling mushroom fungi is like calling an apple an apple tree. Yes, your Ford is a car, but not all cars are Ford. So all mushroom are fungi, though not all fungi are mushrooms as there are many more types of fungi than mushrooms. To be frank, a mushroom is just an attempt of a microorganism (fungus) to reproduce. Mushrooms are categorized as fungi because unlike plants that require sunlight to undergo photosynthesis to make their own food, mushrooms lack chlorophyll, but require a substrate to grow upon. This is why mushrooms are found commonly on dead logs and feces, and people try to clear their lawns and gardens of this type of fungus.
Interestingly, the word fungus comes directly from Latin fungus that literally means mushrooms, and in turn comes from Greek sponge. Fungi are a separate class of microorganisms that reproduce from spores, and are thus different from plants that require photosynthesis to make food for themselves. Fungi consist of molds, yeast, mildew, and mushrooms. It can be unicellular or multi cellular. Mushrooms are fruiting bodies of some kinds of fungi, and most common or famous of these are those that have a button like structure with a stem. Mushrooms are both edible as well as non edible or poisonous.