Difference Between Yeast and Mold

Molds and yeast are both members of the fungus kingdom. They still differ greatly, though, in terms of things like appearance, habitat, mode of reproduction, growing circumstances, etc. Currently, there are about 4,000 different types of yeast, compared to 400,000 different types of mold.

On the one hand, the yeasts are colorless, unicellular, globular, or oval-shaped bacteria. The fungi are filamentous, thread-like, and colorful, in contrast to the molds.

For each of them, there are different growth conditions. While molds may grow in a wide range of pH conditions, yeast can only thrive in the pH range of 4.0 to 4.5.

Yeasts are non-sporing species that divide through binary fission or budding. In contrast, molds produce spores and have sexual and asexual reproduction mechanisms.

With a comparison chart and other distinguishing characteristics, the post that follows will assist you in understanding the key distinctions between yeast and molds.

Difference Between Mold and Yeast

What is Yeast?

Yeast are eukaryotic single-cell microorganisms with distinct organelles and nuclei. Asexual reproduction occurs by budding or binary fission.

Yeast lacks real hyphae but is distinguished by filamentous and thread-like features. Aside from that, they are usually colorless in nature.

Yeast is widely found in foods such as bread, vegetables, and mammalian skin, among other locations.

These microbes ferment by breaking down carbohydrates to produce energy. Because of the off-flavors, yeast development on food is relatively easy to detect.

Baking yeast and Cryptococcus neoformans are two examples of yeast that can cause diseases such as asthma in humans.

Let us go more deeper about them!

Structural/Microscopic Appearance

  • It is a single-celled bacterium.
  • Generally round or oval in shape.
  • The look is slimy.
  • Yeast does not have distinct body sections such as filamentous hyphae, mycelia, and so on.

They are seen in fewer color variations. They can be white or even colorless at times.


They can be found on fruits and berries, as well as in mammals’ stomachs and skin.

Colony morphology

  • By budding, they develop visible colonies in the shape of clusters and chains.
  • Their colonies are cream-colored, velvety, and opaque.
  • Some organisms exhibit multicellular traits, such as forming filaments that connect newly budded cells. They have the structure of hyphae but are not real and are referred to as pseudohyphae.

Production of Energy

They carry out anaerobic fermentation activities in which carbohydrates are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide is produced as a byproduct.

They also get carbon from hexose sugar.


They mostly reproduce asexually by budding. However, yeast species are capable of reproducing through binary fission.

Blastopore are their asexual spores.

Conditions for growth

  • Nutrition: To receive nutrition, the yeast requires organic matter as well as a sufficient amount of moisture. They require organic hosts for nourishment, as well as the ability to break down carbohydrates and generate fermentation in order to make energy either aerobically or anaerobically.
  • Temperature of Incubation: The recommended incubation temperature is 25-30 (room temperature) °C.
  • Incubation Period: They grow within 24-36 hours of being inoculated in media.
  • Air Requirement: They can survive in both aerobic and anaerobic environments.
  • pH range: They can grow best in the pH range of 4-4.5.


We distinguish them based on physiological tests and morphological features.

Hyphae presence

  • True hyphae are not produced by yeasts.
  • They do, however, have hyphae-like structures known as pseudohyphae.

Risks associated with this

  • Yeasts are less engaged in processes such as food deterioration than other fungi. However, spoilage can occur as a result of excessive fermentation and is immediately discernible as a “off-flavor” of the food.
  • They may cause infection in humans by affecting the immune system, as yeast candida causes candidiasis in humans and may lead to asthma and Crohn’s disease.


  • Yeast is capable of converting carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide. For these reasons, they are utilized in the manufacturing of ethanol for alcoholic beverages, baking, and other applications.
  • Yeast is grown in enterprises to produce a variety of chemical products, including vital enzymes.


  • Cryptococcus cerevisiae
  • Cryptococcus neoformans

Species Number

Currently, over 1500 yeast species have been discovered on the planet.

What Are Molds?

Molds are multicellular eukaryotic microbes that reproduce sexually or asexually.

The majority of molds grow on moist, dark surfaces. Airborne spores and filamentous hyphae distinguish them.

Molds are utilized in the decomposition of organic waste as well as the manufacture of antimicrobial medications like penicillin and Lovastatin.

Molds can also be used to make edibles such as cheese and beverages, in addition to antimicrobial medications.


  • Moulds can be found virtually anywhere there is moisture. They only need an organic material and a little water to establish their full colony in a matter of hours.
  • Moulds thrive in dark, damp environments, such as rotting bread and vegetables.

The microscopic appearance

  • When viewed with a microscope, they appear multicellular.
  • They have a cottony or woolly texture and many fuzzy filaments known as phloem.
  • Tubular hyphae have several nuclei that share the same genetic foundation.

Methods of reproduction

  • They have the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.
  • They are spore-displacing species that displace airborne spores on the substrate. These spores then begin to grow above or below the surface of the substrate.
  • Sexual spores are known as zygospores, ascospores, and basidiospores.
  • Asexual spores are known as sporangiospores or conidia.

Hyphae presence

They have minute thread-like threads known as hyphae.

Colony Morphology

  • The colonies of mould are plainly visible with the naked eye.
  • The colony is filamentous, including both vegetative and aerial hyphae.


They are available in a variety of colors, including brown, green, black, purple, black, orange, and pink.

Growth conditions

  • pH Level: The molds may grow in a wide range of pH conditions, including severely acidic and basic conditions.
  • Air Requirement: They can only grow in an aerobic environment.
  • Incubation Temperature: The standard incubation temperature is 25-30 °C.

Some of the moulds, however, are distinguished by their temperature tolerance by growing them at 35 °C.

  • Cultivation Time: They require a longer period of time to fully mature. After incubation in the media, their growth rate is sluggish.


  • Their microscopic inspection is used in clinical identification.
  • The study of their spores’ ontogeny and morphology can also aid in identification.

Production of Energy

Moulds produce hydrolytic compounds that dissolve biopolymers such as starch, cellulose, and lignin into simpler, absorbable molecules.

Risks Involved

  • Certain molds can also be harmful to one’s health, causing allergies, other respiratory difficulties, headaches, rashes, itching, and so on.
  • Moulds also contribute to increased food spoilage, particularly in moist food items, as well as sanitation concerns.


  • Some of the molds are useful in the food industry.
  • Used to make cheese, rennet, drinks, tofu, and salami.
  • Penicillium is utilized in the production of pharmaceuticals, particularly antibiotics such as penicillin.
  • Lovastatin (cholesterol-lowering) and cyclosporine (immunosuppressants) are also manufactured.
  • Moulds operate as decomposers by degrading organic wastes found in nature. They are fundamental to the disintegration of life on Earth.

Number of species

Approximately 400,000 mold species have been discovered on the planet to yet.


  • Alternaria
  • Fusarium
  • Mucor
  • Rhizopus
  • Penicillium
  • Trichophyton

Key Differences Between Molds and Yeast

  • Molds are multicellular microorganisms, whereas yeast is only one cell. Both are members of the fungus kingdom.
  • In a dark and humid environment, there are around 400,000 varieties of molds and 1500 forms of yeast on fruits, vegetables, and animal skin.
  • Molds have multicolored filamentous hyphae, whereas yeast is colorless and smooth. Pseudo-filamentous structures are common in yeast.
  • Yeast is utilized in the commercial production of foods and beverages such as alcohol, as well as molds for the production of antimicrobial medications.
  • Molds induce allergic reactions and other respiratory disorders, whereas yeast infections weaken an individual’s immune system.
  • Molds include Mucor, Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Aspergillus, whereas yeast includes Baking yeast and Cryptococcus neoformans.
  • Molds reproduce sexually and asexually, whereas yeast reproduces via binary fission or budding.
  • Molds live in damp and gloomy places, whereas yeast lives on fruits, animal skin, and inside the stomach.
  • Molds are thread-like, whereas yeasts are round.
  • Molds have a fuzzy appearance, whereas yeast are white and thready.
  • Molds have microscopic filaments, whereas yeasts do not.
  • Mold is a sporing fungus, although yeast is not one.
  • During fermentation, yeast transforms carbohydrates to alcohol, whilst molds exude hydrolytic enzymes to external food sources and absorb nutrients.
  • Molds number around 400,000, whilst yeasts number around 1500.
  • Molds are more dangerous, but yeasts are less dangerous.

Similarities Between Molds and Yeasts

  • They are both fungus.
  • Chitin and glucose derivatives are found in both.
  • Both can degrade porous structures.
  • During germination, both undergo chemical reactions.
  • Both require moisture in order to germinate.
  • Both are susceptible to heat.
  • Both need oxygen to grow.
  • Both result in an allergic reaction.
  • They are both eukaryotes.
  • Both pose health risks.
  • They are both sporophytes.


Molds and yeast are both forms of fungi, although they have quite different characteristics and purposes.

As previously said, yeast is a form of fungi that exists as a single cell and reproduces asexually and is utilized in food beverages, wine, and other products. Molds, on the other hand, are multicellular with hyphae and can multiply sexually or asexually; they are employed in the production of penicillin, cheese, and other products.

This page will provide you with a thorough explanation of the distinctions between yeasts and molds.