Fungi are non-vascular and non-green organisms. Mycology is the branch of biology that deals with fungi. The person who specializes in this branch is called a mycologist.
|Algae are grown in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats.||Fungi are grown in aquatic and terrestrial habitat.|
|They are autotrophs.||They are heterotrophs, either saprophyte, parasites or symbiotic.|
|They grow in the light environment.||They grow in dark, dim or diffuse light.|
The cell wall is made up of cellulose.
|Cell wall is composed of chitin or fungus cellulose.|
|Filaments, if present may be branched or unbranched.||Filaments or hyphae are usually branched.|
|Chlorophyll and accessory pigments are present.||Chlorophyll and accessory pigments are absent.|
|The reserved food material is starch.||The reserved food material is glycogen and oil globules.|
|Asexual reproduction normally occurs by zoospores.||Zoospores are rare.|
|Motility of the gametes is very rare.||Gametes are motile.|
Fungi are found in all sorts of habitats where organic matter is present. Fungi can be seen growing on leather goods, wood, clothes, preserved pickles, jam, jelly, humus rich soil, dung of animals etc.
Fungi are heterotrophs. They depend on readymade food like some animals and bacteria do. Their nutrition involves the absorption of soluble substances. Fungi have a parasitic, saprophytic and symbiotic mode of nutrition.
Fungi as parasitic
The parasites which live entirely on the living protoplasm of the host and die with the death of host is called obligate parasites. Example; Erypsiphe, Albugo etc. The parasites which are able to make their food from dead and decaying body of the host is called the facultative parasite. Eg; Some smuts
Fungi as saprophytic:
Fungi that absorb food from dead or decaying organic matters is called saprophytic fungi. The fungi which die without decaying organic matters are called obligate saprophytes. Eg; Mucor mucedo. The fungi which lives parasitically are called facultative parasites.
Fungi that grow in the long lasting beneficial association with the higher plants are called symbiotic fungi. This mutual relationship is named mycorrhiza. The participants are called symbionts.