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Difference between Mold and Yeast

Both mold and yeast belong to Kingdom Fungi. Both are eukaryotes, meaning they have cell nuclei and membrane-bound organelles. Though both belong to the same kingdom and act as a parasite on other organic matter, yet they are different from each other. Let us see how mold differs from yeast!


Mold is a type of fungi which is a eukaryotic, multicellular organism and grows in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. The hyphae are collectively called a mycelium. Molds are heterotrophic organisms, meaning they cannot make their own food like plants. So, in order to survive, they must gain nutrients from other organic substances. They have round or oval shape, appear in different colours and can reproduce asexually or sexually.

There are more than 100000 types of mold. Some of the common types are Rhizopus stolonifer which is known as black bread mold; Penicillium which is used to produce the antibiotic, Penicillin. Like animals, mold does not eat its food; it secretes enzymes to break down the food into smaller organic molecules which are absorbed by it. So, they are decomposers of dead organic matter like leaves, plants and wood etc.

Molds often require moisture to grow which they usually get from washing area, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from the water pipes etc. Poor ventilation which tends to increase humidity levels also leads to condensation which helps mold grow and reproduce.


Yeast is also a type of fungi which is a eukaryotic, unicellular organism. It looks like a thread or filament and appears white or colorless. It reproduces asexually or undergoes vegetative reproduction, a process in which a new bud emerges from the side of the existing cell.

They are around 1500 varieties of yeast. They are widely used in industry for baking bread, brewing beer, in alcohol production and food beverages. It is also an essential ingredient in many bakery products. It leavens the dough and imparts a year fermentation flavour to the product. Yeast can be commonly found in fruits, vegetables and on the skin of mammals etc.

Furthermore, foods containing yeast provide plenty of proteins and B vitamins. It also keeps the digestive system healthy and supports the immune system. Some types of yeast may cause infection such as Candida which is responsible for causing infections in humans.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between mold and yeast are as follows:

Mold Yeast
It is a multicellular organism which grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. It is a unicellular microorganism.
It has filamentous or thread-like shape. It has round or oval shape.
Hyphae (microscopic filaments) are present. It does not have hyphae.
It produces spores for reproduction. It does not produce spores for reproduction.
There are more than 100000 types of molds. There are around 1500 types of yeast.
Mode of reproduction is both sexual and asexual. Mode of reproduction is only asexual.
It is usually colourful, has many colours like green, orange, pink, black, brown etc. It is usually colourless or white.
It is used in food production like producing cheese and producing antibiotics like penicillin. It is used for baking bread, brewing beer, etc.
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