The key difference between yeast and mucor is that yeast is a single-celled fungus and is non-mycelial, while mucor is a filamentous fungus, which is a form of mycelial.
Fungi are eukaryotic microorganisms with a thallus-like body structure. Some fungi are unicellular. Yeast is an example of unicellular fungi. But, many fungi are multicellular and have mycelia. One of the unique features of fungi is that they have chitin in their cell walls. Furthermore, fungi are very good decomposers because they are mainly saprophytes. Yeast and mucor are two different fungal species that share similarities as well as differences.
What is Yeast?
Yeast is a unicellular fungus. Thus, they are single-celled eukaryotic organisms that belong to Kingdom Fungi. Yeast species belong to a subphylum called Saccharomycotina of the phylum Ascomycota. There are over 1500 yeast species. Budding is the main mode of reproduction shown by yeast. It is an asexual method which occurs via asymmetrical cytokinesis. An outgrowth or a bud formed from the parent cell develops into a new yeast cell. However, some yeast species reproduce asexually by fission. Apart from asexual reproduction, yeasts also can reproduce sexually using two different mating types.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the yeast species that are industrially important. Yeast’s ability to ferment sugars is their most important feature in the industry. Hence, they are used in preparing bread, alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, etc. Moreover, yeasts are useful in ethanol production and bioremediation as well.
Some yeast species cause human infections. One example is Candida. Candida species cause Candidiasis. Histoplasma and Blastomyces are two more yeast species that are responsible for diseases in humans.
What is Mucor?
Mucor is a zygomycetes fungus that belongs to kingdom fungi. It is a mould or a filamentous fungus. These fungi are commonly present in the soil, rotten or spoiled vegetable matter or food surfaces and some in digestive systems. They are fast-growing filamentous fungi that appear white to grey in colour. Furthermore, they are saprotrophic fungi, which depend on the decomposing organic matter in the environment.
Reproduction in Mucor shows characteristic features. They reproduce through sexual and asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction in Mucor takes place through fragmentation and sporangiophore formation. The sporangiophore of Mucor is branched. Upon maturity, the sporangiophore develops into a sporangium and releases asexual spores. These asexual spores then develop into new functional Mucor mycelia.
Sexual reproduction in Mucor takes place through the mating of the two types of organisms under harsh unfavourable conditions. Gamentangia involves in sexual reproduction of Mucor via conjugation.
What are the Similarities Between Yeast and Mucor?
- Both yeast and Mucor are fungi.
- They are heterotrophs that belong to Kingdom Fungi.
- Both show sexual as well as asexual reproduction methods.
- Furthermore, they are very good decomposers of organic matter in the soil.
What is the Difference Between Yeast and Mucor?
Yeast is a single-celled fungus while Mucor is a multicellular fungus. So, this is the key difference between yeast and mucor. Furthermore, yeast is not a mould while Mucor is a mould. Therefore, this is also a difference between yeast and mucor.
Below infographic summarizes the difference between yeast and mucor.
Summary – Yeast vs Mucor
Yeast is a single-celled fungus. On the other hand, Mucor is a multicellular fungus, which is a mould (filamentous fungus). So, this is the key difference between yeast and mucor. Furthermore, yeast reproduces asexually via budding. But, Mucor does not show budding. Instead, it uses fragmentation and sporangiophore formation as asexual methods.
1. “S cerevisiae under DIC microscopy” By Masur – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Mature sporangium of a Mucor sp. fungus” بواسطة CDC/Dr. Lucille K. Georg – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL) via Commons Wikimedia