The key difference between myxomycota and oomycota is that myxomycota are fungus-like organisms commonly referred to as true slime molds, while oomycota are fungus-like organisms commonly referred to as water molds.
Fungi and fungus-like organisms are the second richest group species on the earth after insects. They perform essential ecosystem functions. Fungus-like protists are heterotrophic, and their primary function is to decompose in various ecosystems. These fungus-like protists can be categorized into various groups, which include water and slime molds. Further, they can be divided into acellular slime molds, cellular slime molds, and water molds. Myxomycota and oomycota are two fungus-like organisms or protists that are typically not true fungi.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Myxomycota
3. What is Oomycota
4. Similarities – Myxomycota and Oomycota
5. Myxomycota vs. Oomycota in Tabular Form
6. FAQ – Myxomycota and Oomycota
7. Summary – Myxomycota vs. Oomycota
What is Myxomycota?
Myxomycota comprises eukaryotic microorganisms commonly known as true slime molds or myxomycetes. Since their discovery, different people have classified them as plants, animals, or fungi. However, molecular evidence shows that they are amoebozoans and not true fungi. They are characterized by the absence of a cell wall during their amoeboid, animal-like vegetative phase. The members of myxomycota can be saprophytic or parasitic.
Members of myxomycota are usually abundant in terrestrial ecosystems. They are also associated with different types of decaying plant material, such as coarse woody debris and forest floor litter. A few species have been recovered from aquatic habitats microorganisms as well. Moreover, they produce aerial spore-bearing structures that resemble those of certain fungi. Furthermore, approximately 900 species of myxomycetes have been described, and myxomycetes consist of two main assemblages: light and dark-spored myxomycetes.
What is Oomycota?
Oomycota are eukaryotic microorganisms that are filamentous and heterotrophic. They are also fungal-like organisms commonly known as water molds. There are more than 500 species in this group. They feed on decaying matter, similar to fungi. Therefore, they are important decomposers in the environment. They have cell walls with cellulose. They can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Sexual reproduction occurs through the contact between the hyphae of the male, antheridia, and the female oogonia, resulting in the production of oospores. Asexual reproduction involves the release of motile zoospores, as well as chlamydospores and sporangia. Therefore, oomycota have motile spores. Oomycota have a diplontic life cycle where their multicellular stage is diploid.
The members of oomycota prefer high humidity and running surface water. Furthermore, many oomycetes are economically important, aggressive algae and plant pathogens. Some members can cause diseases in fish and mammals.
What are the Similarities Between Myxomycota and Oomycota?
- Myxomycota and oomycota are two fungus-like organisms that are typically not true fungi.
- They are eukaryotic in origin.
- Both are classified under the kingdom Protista.
- Both show asexual and sexual reproduction.
- They can be saprophytic and parasitic.
What is the Difference Between Myxomycota and Oomycota?
Myxomycota are fungus-like organisms commonly referred to as true slime molds, while oomycota are fungus-like organisms commonly referred to as water molds. Thus, this is the key difference between myxomycota and oomycota.
Myxomycota are abundant in terrestrial ecosystems (decaying plant material such as coarse woody debris and forest floor litter) and few in aquatic systems. However, oomycota are abundant in areas with high humidity and running surface water.
The infographic below presents the differences between myxomycota and oomycota in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
FAQ: Myxomycota and Oomycota
What are the unique characteristics of Oomycota?
They produce asexual reproductive cells called zoospores, which move through the use of one or two whip-like flagella.
What are the distinguishing characteristics of Myxomycota?
Myxomycota’s vegetative body is a free-living plasmodium. They feed on yeast cells, protozoa, fungal spores, and other substances. Their reproduction takes place by asexual and sexual means.
What are the similarities between myxomycetes and fungi?
The fruiting bodies produced by myxomycetes are visually similar to those produced by higher fungi.
Summary – Myxomycota vs. Oomycota
Fungus-like organisms are not true fungi, and they are not members of Kingdom Fungi. Some well-known examples of fungus-like organisms are myxomycota and oomycota. Myxomycota are eukaryotic microorganisms normally referred to as true slime molds, while oomycota are eukaryotic microorganisms normally referred to as water molds. Hence, this summarizes the difference between myxomycota and oomycota.
1. “Myxomycota (15818020436)” By jacilluch – (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Phytophtora reproduction” By (Reproduced courtesy of Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley [A, D], and Edwin R. Florance, Lewis & Clark College [Portland, Oregon, United States] and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station in Albany, California [B, C].) – Nicholls H: Stopping the Rot. PLoS Biol 2/7/2004: e213. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0020213 (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia