How are Fungi different from Plants

Plants and fungi play a very important role in the survival of humans and other organisms. All living beings are divided into different kingdoms: Fungi, Plantae, Monera, Protista and Animalia; each with its own characteristics.  How are Fungi different from Plants 

FUNGI OR KINGDOM OF THE FUNGI  How are Fungi different from Plants

Although originally the fungi were grouped in the kingdom of the plants,  Plantae , later they were classified in a kingdom especially for them; due to its notable differences with plants.

Currently living beings are divided not into the five traditional kingdoms that we mentioned earlier; but in six: Archaea, Bacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia. These six kingdoms are present today in many books on Botany; especially in the United States.

The Archaea kingdom was previously included in that of bacteria. Human beings belong to the kingdom of Animalia.

Fungi are a group of multinucleated single-celled organisms that live and grow on decomposed matter. They are also members of the eukaryotic cell domain. They were separated from the plant kingdom when evidence showed that it resembled the organisms of the Animalia kingdom more than those of the Plantae kingdom; but that they were neither.

Robert Whittaker is the one who is credited for the proposal to create an independent kingdom for these organisms. Fungi include microorganisms such as yeast. The term “Fungi” is a word adopted from Latin, which literally means “mushroom.” This word in turn derives from the Greek word “Sphongos”, which means “sponge.”

Fungi can reproduce by different methods, both sexual and asexual. Based on their reproductive structures, they have eight divisions:

  1. Chytridiomycota
  2. Zygomycota
  3. Glomeromycota
  4. Microsporidia
  5. Ascomycota
  6. Basidiomycota
  7. Blastocladiomycota
  8. Neocallimastigomycota.

Both fungi and plants have a similar lifestyle: they are immobile, grow in the soil, and both have morphological and growth habitat similarities. Fungi are considered both symbiotic and parasitic organisms in nature, since they can develop in other living organisms.

They commonly live in other living things like animals and plants. They are also capable of breaking down organic matter and taking the necessary nutrients from it. They convert organic matter into inorganic matter and play a fundamental role in the nutrient exchange cycle.

Mushrooms are also used as food for humans, since many, such as yeast and truffles, are edible. They are also used in the production of antibiotics, detergents, and pesticides. Some are also powerfully poisonous and rare; there are many others that have psychedelic properties and are used as reactive drugs.

PLANTAE OR KINGDOM OF PLANTS

Plants are multicellular organisms that belong to the kingdom Plantae. The organisms of this kingdom usually present certain characteristics such as being multicellular, possessing cellulose and having the capacity for photosynthesis. Plants are found in every habitat, including Antarctica.

The kingdom Plantae includes species such as flowers, conifers, green algae, ferns, and mosses. In general, green plants are associated with the ability to produce their own energy, using carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight. This process is known as photosynthesis and it uses chlorophyll (which gives plants their green color).

Although in nature, most plants are independent, there are some cases in which they are parasitic. Parasites are plants that do not have the normal ability to produce chlorophyll and are unable to photosynthesize.

The exact number of plant species on Earth is as of yet unknown, however estimates indicate that there are more than 300,000. Most of these are seed plants.

Plants can often be divided into fruits, grains, vegetables, among others.

They play a vital role in sustaining human society as they produce food, oxygen, and wood. They also play an important role in the cycles that occur on this planet, such as the water, nitrogen and other biochemical cycles.

Plants take in carbon dioxide and in return produce oxygen that is so necessary for the life of many beings. They reproduce using sexual or asexual methods or by dispersing the spores.

Flowers are considered the sexual organs of plants, while fruits are those that develop through their ovaries and are used to spread seeds.

Plants have a symbiotic relationship with many organisms, including humans, fungi, and insects. The relationship with humans includes the propagation of their seeds, while some plants depend on fungi and other organisms to acquire the necessary nutrients. On the other hand, bees and birds help spread pollen from flowers.

Humans depend on plants for food, shelter, and medicine. The wood of the plants is also made into paper, furniture, musical instruments . Other products derived from plants include soaps, perfumes, makeup, turpentine, rubber, linoleum, hemp ropes, plastics, ink, lubricants, chewing gum … They are also used for scientific purposes, such as analyzing carbon rings in trees to determine their age and past climates.

In short, fungi and plants differ from each other in many ways. The cell walls of fungi are created from chitin, while the cell walls of plants are made of cellulose. Most plants are capable of producing their own food, while fungi depend on other organic substances for energy.

Unlike plants, fungi are mostly parasitic in nature. Also, fungi do not have chlorophyll, which means that they cannot photosynthesize.

Most plants have roots that help them get well in the soil and absorb the necessary water and nutrients from the soil, while fungi are often connected with a network of wire-like substances, which helps them to hold onto matter and take nutrients from it.

Plants and fungi play different roles in nature, the former are considered primary food producers, while fungi are considered primary food decomposers.

Differences between the Fungi kingdom and the Plantae kingdom

  • Fungi are a group of unicellular and multinucleated organisms that live and grow in matter. Plants are multicellular living organisms whose main characteristics are having cellulose and being capable of photosynthesis.

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