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Difference Between Algae And Fungi

Difference Between Algae And Fungi

Algae and fungi both are categorized under Protista and Fungi kingdom. Both algae and fungi are eukaryotic organisms. The Protista kingdom consists of protozoans and molds along with algae. The main function of algae is production in the ecosystem and also in the production of oxygen gas. Fungi create chains of cells known as fungal hyphae. Both algae and fungi are responsible for the formation of the thallus. The algae are autotrophs. It contains chlorophylls which are required for photosynthesis. On the other side, fungi are heterotrophs, which secures organic material from the sources in the external environment. Let us understand the main difference between Algae and fungi.

Difference Between Algae And Fungi


Character Algae Fungi
Kingdom Algae belong to the kingdom Protista. Fungi belong to the kingdom Fungi.
Habitat They are mostly aquatic and found in both fresh and marine water. They are terrestrial and mostly found on the dead matter with proper warmth and moisture.
Only Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic algae. Other algae are eukaryotes. All fungi are eukaryotes.
Photosynthetic Pigments It possesses chlorophyll for photosynthesis. It does not possess any photosynthetic pigment.
Nutrition Being an autotroph, algae possess chlorophyll and other photosynthetic pigments. Fungi are heterotrophs, they digest external food by secreting enzymes.
Darkness They cannot live in the dark. They can live in the dark.
Cell Wall The cell wall is composed of cellulose. The cell wall is composed of chitin.
Food Storage It stores food in the form of starch. It stores food in the form of glycogen and oil globules.
Body Algal body is filamentous or parenchyatous. The fungal body is filamentous or pasedo-parenchymatous.
Nucleated It consists of uninucleated cells. It consists of multinucleated cells.


Algae are the plant-like mostly unicellular organisms, diverse and grow everywhere on earth. They are very important in ecosystems as help in the production of aquatic food chains. In this process, it releases oxygen gas to the atmosphere. It produces about 70% of oxygen.

Algae contain a single chloroplast per cell. It is required to carry out photosynthesis. But, there are some algae capable of growing in the dark as well. These algae are known as heterotrophs.

Cyanobacteria are a type of microalgae which does not belong to eukaryotic algae. It is also known as blue-green algae. In this, sexual reproduction takes place through the combination of gametes.

Eukaryotic algae are sexually dimorphic; hence, male and female gametes are produced by different individuals. Asexual reproduction of algae includes the production of motile spores and division by mitosis. Giant kelp is a type of macroalgae that contains a multicellular thallus-like structure.


Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta, and Phaeophytaare the three major types of algae. Chlorophyta is the most diverse group of algae. Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, and xanthophylls are the pigments found in Chlorophyta. It is also known as green algae. Rhodophyta contains phycoerythrin as the photosynthesizing pigment. It is also known as red algae. Phaeophyta consists of chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin as the photosynthesizing pigments. It is also known as brown algae.


Fungi are classified under the kingdom fungi. They are either unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic organisms. Fungi are mainly motionless and grow as fungal hyphae. They are cylindrical, thread-like chains of cells. Each cell is divided from the others in the chain. The most special feature is the chitin cell wall.

Fungi live on dead plants, decomposing them. Digestive enzymes are produced by fungi, which absorbs sugar like simple nutrients though fungal hyphae. Fungi spread through reproductive spores, which is spread by wind or water.


Fungi are categorized under Microsporidia, Basidiomycota, Ascomycota, Glomeromycota, Chytridiomycota, Neocallimastigomycota, and Blastocladiomycota.

Microsporidia are a unicellular passenger in protists and animals. Basidiomycota helps in the formation of meiospores in basidia. Ascomycota helps in the formation of spores inside the ascus. Glomeromycota is a passenger present in plants, which conquers the roots of plants by fungal hyphae. Chytridiomycota, Neocallimastigomycota, and Blastocladiomycota create mobile zoospores.


Algae and fungi are two groups of organisms. Algae belong to the kingdom Protista whereas, fungi belong to the kingdom Fungi. Algae are autotrophs, and Fungi are heterotrophs. Algae contain photosynthetic pigments. Fungi are capable of digesting non-living, organic material, and also absorbs simple nutrients by the fungal hyphae. Due to the presence of different photosynthetic pigments, algae have different colors like green, red, and brown.

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