Yeasts vs Molds- Definition and 23 Major Differences


Yeasts and molds are two types of fungi that share some common characteristics but also have many differences. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms, which means they have cells with a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. Fungi are also heterotrophic, which means they obtain their energy and nutrients from organic matter. Fungi can be classified into four major groups based on their morphology, reproduction, and phylogeny: Zygomycota, Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Deuteromycota.

Yeasts are unicellular fungi that belong to the phylum Ascomycota or Basidiomycota. They are usually spherical or oval in shape and range in size from 3 to 40 micrometers. Yeasts reproduce asexually by budding or fission, or sexually by mating and forming spores. Yeasts are widely used in food production, such as bread, beer, wine, and cheese, as well as in biotechnology and medicine.

Molds are multicellular fungi that belong to any of the four phyla of fungi. They are composed of long, branching filaments called hyphae that form a network called mycelium. Molds reproduce asexually by producing spores that are dispersed by air, water, or animals, or sexually by forming specialized structures that fuse and produce spores. Molds can grow on various substrates, such as soil, wood, food, and organic matter. Some molds are beneficial for decomposing organic matter, producing antibiotics, and fermenting foods, while others are harmful for causing spoilage, allergies, and infections.