21 Difference between Bacteria and Fungi (With Table)

Bacteria and fungi are microbes that occur in the ecosystem. These tiny organisms can associate well with other types of living organisms in the environment. 

These microbes can either be harmless or harmful to humans. But most of them play a crucial role in some biological processes. Many people find it challenging to tell the difference between fungi and bacteria. 

So, what is the main difference between bacteria and fungi? The former needs a host to live while the latter can live on their own. Bacteria are either autotrophs or heterotrophs and fungi are purely heterotrophs. 

Besides that, bacteria are prokaryotic cells and fungi are eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotes are single-cell without many organelles and eukaryotes are multicellular cells with membrane-bound organelles. 

This article provides further differences between bacteria and fungi class 8. Take the time to read through and learn the similarities between bacteria and fungi. 

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Comparison Table (Bacteria vs Fungi)

Basic Terms




These are single-cell organisms with few organelles that are not membrane-bound.

These are multicellular organisms with many organelles that are membrane-bound.

Cell Type



No. of Cells




Range from 0.5 to 5 µm.

Range from 2 to 10 µm.

Cell Wall Content




Occur in three shapes such as viz round (cocci), spiral (Spirilla), and rod-shaped (bacillus).

Have thread-like structures

Growth pH

Range from 6.5 to 7.0

Range from 4.0 to 6.0


Motile due to flagella



Nuclear region of the cytoplasm

In the nuclear region

Cell Organelles

Non membrane bound few organelles.

Membrane-bound many organelles.


Contain 70S ribosomes.

Contain 80S ribosomes.


Binary fission is a type of asexual reproduction.

Both asexual and sexual reproduction.


Both autotrophs and heterotrophs

Heterotrophs only.

Source of Energy

Both organic and inorganic matter.

Pre-existing organic matter.


Both anaerobic and aerobic respiration.

Anaerobic respiration





Lack microtubules or microfilaments.

Have microtubules and microfilaments.

Cell Cycle

Shorter cell cycle that ranges from 20 to 60 minutes.

Longer cell cycle that ranges from 12 to 24 hours.


Tuberculosis, tetanus, leprosy, typhoid, and cholera.

Skin infections, Aspergillosis, Aspergilloma, and Histoplasmosis


Manufacture of antibiotics and other chemicals.

Production of beer, bread, and antibiotics.


E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Typhi, Lactobacillus spp., etc.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Histoplasma, Aspergillus niger, Agaricus boirus, etc.

What Is Bacteria?

Bacteria are prokaryotic organisms that come into existence about 3.5 billion years ago. They can either be autotrophs or heterotrophs.

Those bacteria that are able to make their own food during photosynthesis are known autotrophs while those that depend on the host for nutrients are heterotrophs.

The most wonderful thing is that bacterial occur in three shapes such as rode shape, spiral shape, and spherical shape. They are also known to reproduce asexually by binary fission.

Bacteria play a vital role in enhancing decomposition, releasing nitrogen, and used in fermentation processes. Besides that, they cause illness, spoilage of food, and contamination of water.

These prokaryotes are differentiated into Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Gram-positive bacteria have a large amount of peptidoglycan while Gram-negative have a thin layer.

Some of the significant parts of a bacterial cell include:

  1. Endospore which offers maximum protection to the cell from the harsh condition and Cell membrane regulates the flow of material into the cell.
  2. Glycocalyx occurs on the surface of the cell to safeguard the cell wall and Ribosomes are responsible for the synthesis of proteins.
  3. Nucleoid is responsible for the storage of genetic material and Mesosomes facilitate cell respiration.
  4. Flagellum promotes movement since they are attached to the basal body of the cell and Fimbriae are hair-like structures that facilitate mating and attachment to the surface.
  5. The cell wall provides support to the cell and Granules responsible for the storage of glycogen, carbohydrates, phosphate, and fat.

What Is Fungi?

Fungi are eukaryotic organisms that are either single cell or multicellular. Research shows that they came into existence about 900 million years ago and they were derived from protists.

They have a thread-like structure known as hypha and they normally grow to form a thick mass called mycelium.

Most of the fungi are heterotrophic organisms and they usually consume carbon as their nutrients. Most of these nutrients are derived from dead and decaying matters in the soil.

The reproduction method in fungi is either sexual or asexual. Fungi play a vital role in human activities like baking and making antibiotic drugs.

Besides that, these organisms also cause diseases in plants and animals. They also cause spoilage of food.

Some of the main parts and role of the fungi cells include:

  1. Nucleus store genetic materials as well as facilitate protein synthesis and ribosome formation.
  2. Ribosomes are responsible for protein synthesis and cytoplasm for enhancing metabolic activities in the cell.
  3. Mitochondria provide energy for the cell and the plasma membrane regulates the entry and exit of molecules in the cell.
  4. The cell wall provides rigidification and supports to the cell. Golgi apparatus help in sorting of lipids and modification of proteins.
  5. The endoplasmic reticulum responsible for the transportation of lipids and proteins while Lysosomes and peroxisomes for getting rid of foreign materials.

Main Differences between Bacteria and Fungi 

  1. Bacteria are prokaryotic organism while fungi are eukaryotic organisms
  2. Bacteria are both autotrophs and heterotrophs while fungi are specifically heterotrophs.
  3. Bacteria grow in a neutral condition and fungi grown in a slightly acidic condition
  4. Bacteria are unicellular and they can be seen through a microscope while fungi are multicellular or unicellular.
  5. Bacteria have membrane-bound organelles and they lack a nucleus while fungi have a true nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
  6. The cell wall of the bacteria contains peptidoglycan while that of the fungi contains chitin.
  7. Bacteria reproduce through binary fission while fungi either through the sexual or asexual method.
  8. Examples of fungi are mushrooms, lichens, algae, yeast, and mold while of bacteria are curd bacteria and fecal bacteria.

Similarities between Bacteria and Fungi

  1. Both have the same food source
  2. Both contain DNA
  3. Both causes diseases or infection
  4. Both have a cell membrane, cytoplasm, and cell wall.

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Fungi and bacteria are microorganisms that are found everywhere in the environment. They can either be harmless or harmful. The information helps to know the difference between bacterial and fungal infections.

The core difference between bacteria and fungi is the cellular makeup and the different roles they play. Fungi are essential for making antibiotic drugs while bacterial for the fermentation process.

More Sources and References

Germs. Kids Health

Germs. Mayo Clinic 

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