What is the difference between plants and fungi is a question that raises curiosity among gardeners. These two organisms have different structures and functions and belong to various kingdoms.Difference Between Plants and Fungi

But how do you know which organism is a plant and which is a fungus, or do they both have green leaves, and how do they reproduce? Read on to know the differences.

Features  Plants  Fungi 
Cell wall Made up of cellulose Made up of chitin
Nucleus  Have a single nucleus Have a uninucleate or multinucleate
Body structure Has stem, roots, and leaves A filamentous body made up of mycelium and hyphae. It doesn’t have complex organs.
Chlorophyll presence Has chlorophyll for photosynthesis Lacks chlorophyll
Type of reproduction Reproduce by seeds Reproduce by spores

What Are the Known Difference Between Plants and Fungi?

The known difference between plants and fungi is that plants are producers while fungi are decomposers. Plants have chlorophyll for photosynthesis and green leaves, and they get the energy to make seeds and cones for reproduction. On the contrary, fungi mainly break down decaying matter, making the organisms decomposers.

Another visible difference between these organisms is their body structure. Farmers identify plants with green, cream, white or other colored leaves, stems, and roots. Fungi lack leaves and roots because their filamentous body comprises mycelium and hyphae, which is one of the specifications that separate them from other organisms.

There is also a difference between fungi and plant cells; for instance, plants have a solid cellulose cell wall, and the cells have a single nucleus, clearly seen under a microscope. When you look at the cell wall of fungi, you will notice that it is septate or aseptate and is made of chitin. Some also have an uninucleate or multinucleate, as seen under a microscope.

In addition to this, you must know that organisms have cells, and you could start wondering; is fungi a plant or animal? Fungi are neither plants nor animals because they belong to a separate kingdom from plants and animals because of their mode of nutrition and the complexity of cell structures.

To fully answer the query, what are the similarities and differences between fungi and plants? This is why you should know how both organisms are eukaryotes, which means that they do not move from one place to another and have a membrane-bound nucleus. The difference is that plants manufacture their food while fungi don’t.

Exploring Plants, Their Characteristics, and Benefits

A plant is a living organism belonging to the kingdom of Plantae; they are made of cellulose and have a single nucleus. In addition, they also grow and sprout and have roots, leaves of green color, flowers, and also stems.Characteristics of Plants

Plants are organisms that move, reproduce, feed, respire, excrete, and grow. However, a difference exists between plants and animals, even in the moving, feeding, and respiring processes. Also, you must note that plants are the species that produce chlorophyll in their cells, and as they see sunlight, they turn green. They mainly move towards light or from the growth of roots in search of nutrients. Plants also make their food, while animals do not.

– The Cell

Plants are living organisms with cells, and here the plant cells are made of a rigid material called cellulose for protection. Cellulose also stimulates growth and cell division and strengthens the stem, leaves, and branches; this is how they grow and thrive.

The cells are eukaryotic, meaning they have a clearly defined nucleus. Other distinguishing features in the cells are chloroplasts which support photosynthesis. They also have intracellular vacuoles which regulate water handling in cells and the storage of molecules.

– Type of Reproduction

Plants have two types of reproduction: sexual and asexual type of reproduction. Sexual reproduction involves the union of male and female gametes, or sex cells, to produce offspring through fertilization. Through it, seeds with genetic material from both parents are produced. However, there is a genetic diversity in the offspring to help them survive in different environments and in short, they would still reproduce and grow.

Asexual reproduction does not require fertilization to produce offspring. The plant has an identical offspring called a clone since they require DNA from one parent. Asexual production methods are vegetative propagation or fragmentation, where new off springs grow from the parent plant in the form of bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes, and with this, you will see plants multiply.

– Plant Features

Most gardeners identify plants from their organs, and this is because a great number of the species have stems, leaves, roots, flowers, and fruits; the stems and leaves are the first parts you will notice. Stems have tubes called xylem that transport water and nutrients from the roots to other body parts. Plant leaves are in different colors. They are also flat and have tiny holes called stomata for respiration.

Plant roots anchor the crop in the ground and absorb nutrients from the soil. The roots have different shapes depending on the type of plant; some are branched, and others grow straight and deep into the soil.

Not all plants produce flowers, and this is a key characteristic, because flowering plants are called angiosperms, and the flowers are in a wild variation. Flowers can have male and female parts or not. Some have only female parts, and others are entirely male.Characteristics of Sabal Palm 1

These parts are covered in beautiful petals of different shapes and colors. After fertilization, the flowers become fruits with seeds. Some fruits are edible, while others are poisonous. The seeds develop into new plants when grown.

– Trophic Role of Plants

Plants are mainly producers. They absorb sunlight and use it to produce energy and sugar through photosynthesis and then use the energy for growth. Other organisms feed on them for energy since they are positioned at the bottom of the food chain. After photosynthesis, the plants store their food in the form of glucose, and you will see that the food is stored in stalks and fruits.

– Benefits of Plants

Since plants are the only organisms that make their food, they supply other organisms with food. They are also helpful for air purification because they can absorb toxic gases, release oxygen, and cleanse the environment.

Plants also prevent natural disasters like soil erosion and drought. Tiny plants like grass cover and protect the soil from being carried away by water and keep the nutrients intact to support crop growth. The water vapor from the leaves also condenses to become clouds, accelerating rain formation.

Some plants have medicinal benefits of different kinds. Their leaves, roots, or stem have a unique sap that cures allergies and colds. Their branches also act as shelter for some animals, like birds, and they have leaves that provide shade to humans. When the stems and barks dry, people use them as fuel at home or in industries.

Exploring Fungi, Their Characteristics, and Benefits

Fungi are eukaryotic organisms belonging to Kingdom Fungi. They are not animals or plants because they don’t make their own food and do not also ingest food like animals. However, in the past, scientists classified them in the same kingdom as plants.Characteristics of Fungi

Now, this could leave you wondering; why are plants and fungi in different kingdoms now? It is because of their varying characteristics. Plants have cell walls covered with cellulose, while fungi have chitin. Plants also contain chlorophyll for photosynthesis, while fungi don’t make their food.

Fungi live in any habitat, mostly on soil or plant material, and not like other organisms, would grow with roots. Decomposers are mainly found on dead plants or organic matter. Also, some fungi are dangerous because they cause diseases in crops and animals.

– Fungi Cell

Fungal species are unicellular or multicellular, and their cell walls are thin. They are made of a dynamic structure called chitin that protects the cell from osmotic pressure and environmental stress.

The cell wall also has glucans, glycoproteins, and mannans. The latter are two cells that contain a true nucleus, mitochondria, and other complex internal membranes. However, they lack chloroplasts or chlorophyll which is why they do not have the green color.

– Type of Reproduction

Fungi have an asexual type of reproduction. They reproduce by fragmentation, which involves splitting into pieces, spores, or budding. Yeasts mainly produce by budding, by forming a bulge on the side of the cell, and then the nucleus divides and after division, the bud detaches to develop a new fungus.

– Features of Fungi

Fungi have a filamentous structure called hyphae. These hyphae extend their internal structures to grow thread-like strands that absorb nutrients and transport them to other fungus body parts. However, yeast does not have hyphae.

They mostly live in humid and cool environments but can also live in animal skin and seawater because they develop through moisture. However, pneumonia-causing fungi live in dry, sandy soil, and others grow on forest floors. Fungi play a significant role as decomposers by decaying plants and animals in their habitats.

– Feeding Methods

You may also think to yourself, why do scientists think fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants? These organisms are more closely related to animals than plants because they both cannot make their food, and just like animals, they obtain their nutrients from outside sources.Healthy Fungi in Garden

However, the main difference between fungi and animals is their feeding methods. Unlike animals, fungi don’t store their food in a stomach. They absorb nutrients from other organisms to feed, so much so that they do so by growing on the substrate they are feeding.

– Trophic Role of Fungi

Fungi are mainly decomposers. They break down dead material like animals and plants to provide nutrients for living organisms to survive. They complete their cycle of life by returning nutrients to the soil. However, they are positioned at the bottom of food chains.

– Importance and Benefits

Fungi are essential because they break the dead matter to release carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and other nutrients into the soil. They also help with the production of different enzymes in the soil. Some fungi, like mushrooms, are edible; others are used as agents of bread fermentation and alcoholic beverages.


There are many differences between plants and fungi, as seen in this review. While plants belong to the kingdom Plantae, fungi belong to the kingdom Fungi. Plants also make their food, while fungi don’t, and both organisms have various trophic roles.

Plants are primarily needed for oxygen, which humans and animals use. They are also a food source for all organisms, and they prevent drought by attracting rain. Fungi are also important because they decompose organisms to release nutrients to the soil and environment. They are also helpful in bread baking and alcohol fermentation.

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