10 Difference between yeast and mold

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi which is usually fuzzy in appearance and is black, brown, grey, blue, green or yellow in color. Mold is grown on surfaces which are moist, it has tubular branches having genetically identical and multiple nuclei. Not all types of mold causes health related hazards but some are beneficial as well and are useful in bio-degradation. Molds are long cells, which look like threads. Molds are reproduced sexually and asexually through spores.

Some molds are also used in the production of energy by secreting enzymes that are helpful in degrading bio-polymers for example starch, lignin, cellulose into simpler products. Mold is responsible for causing various respiratory and allergic issues. There are various forms of molds and penicillium is one of those. Steam filled, dark and damp areas are usually the habitat of molds.

What is Yeast?

The term “yeast” refers to an incredibly microscopic fungus that consists of one oval cell. It is unicellular in structure. It is oval in shape and predominantly white or colorless in the color. The most important characteristic in yeast’s sexual reproduction technique. It creates a daughter cell in budding. This is why the process of reproduction that is asexual is known as budding. Budding yeast can be seen in the video below.

The yeast requires organic matter to obtain their nutrition. They secrete enzymes into external food sources , and digest them to produce basic forms of nutrients. This is why yeast can make ethanol through fermentation. It can also be used in baking to help the dough rise.

Basis of distinctionYeastMold
StructureYeast are mostly unicellular and exist in either individually or with buds growing on themMold are multicellular with tubular and filamentous hyphae
Structural AppearanceRound or oval shapedThread like filamentous
Color appearanceDull color and mostly monochromaticWide variety of coloration
Habitat or OccuranceMost occur naturally in soil or oceanOccur in any organic environment having moist and humid atmosphere
TypesMore than 1500 typesMore than 400000 types
Tolerance to environmental conditionMore tolerate to dryingLess tolerate to harse whether condition
Method of reproductionMainly by budding or binary fissionMainly by spore formation (sexual and asexual spore both)
Application or usesUse in industries for ethanol production, baking, food additive or flavor etcUsed in biodegradation, bioremediation as well as in antibiotic production
Oxygen requirementAerobic and facultative anaerobesStrictly aerobic (obligate aerobes)
ExamplesSaccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformansRhizopus, Mold, Penicillium, Aspergillus

Key Notes

  • Yeats refers to a microscopic fungus, consisting of a single, oval cell. Mold refers to a growth form of fungus, which grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae.
  • Yeast is very common in the environment. Molds can be found in damp, dark or steam-filled areas.
  • Yeast is oval in shape, and is colorless and smooth. Mold has a fuzzy appearance, and the colors can be green, orange, black, brown, purple, and pink.
  • Yeast converts carbohydrates to alcohol during fermentation. Mold secretes hydrolytic enzymes to external food sources and absorbs nutrients.
  • Yeast reproduces through budding. Mold reproduces through either sexual or asexual spores.
  • Yeast is used in baking industry and in the production of ethanol. Mold is used in the production of cheese.