The main difference between Mucor and Rhizopus is that the Mucor does not have rhizoids and stolons while Rhizopus has both rhizoids and stolons. Further, Mucor has branched sporangiophore while the sporangiophore of Rhizopus is generally unbranched. Also, the Mucor does not have apophyses whereas, the Rhizopus has apophyses in the sporangia.
Mucor and Rhizopus are fungi that belong to the phylum Zygomycota. The significant feature of zygomycetes is the formation of the sporangium by the fusion of two fungal hyphae with different mating types (+ and -) as the mechanism of sexual reproduction. Hence, they are called conjugating fungi. They grow on bread and other food products.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Mucor
– Definition, Characteristics
2. What is Rhizopus
– Definition, Characteristics
3. What are the Similarities Between Mucor and Rhizopus
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Mucor and Rhizopus
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Hyphae, Mucor, Rhizoids, Rhizopus, Sporangia, Stolon
What is Mucor
Mucor refers to a genus of molds having round, usually cylindrical or pear-shaped sporangia not clustered and not limited in location to the points. The colonies of Mucor are fast-growing. They are white to yellow in color and become dark gray at the point of the sporangia formation. Mucor hyphae can be simple or branched. The sporangia of Mucor consist of well-developed, subtending columellae. After the dispersal of zygospores, a conspicuous collarette can be identified at the base of the columella.
What is Rhizopus
Rhizopus refers to a genus of mold fungi including some economically valuable forms and some plant or animal pathogens. The most significant feature of Rhizopus that helps to distinguish it from Mucor is the presence of rhizoids at the base of the sporangiophore, which is called the nodal position. Rhizoids aid in the absorption of food while attaching the mycelium to the substrate as well. Also, the sporangiophore is attached to the rhizoids through a stolon. Both sporangium and the columella collapse after the dispersal of spores.
Similarities Between Mucor and Rhizopus
- Mucor and Rhizopus are two types of fungi that belong to the phylum Zygomycota.
- Both belong to the order Mucorales and the family Mucoraceae.
- They grow on soil, dung, vegetable matter.
- Their hyphae are broad (6-15μm in diameter), irregular, and ribbon-like.
- They form a sporangium upon the fusion of two fungal hyphae with different mating types.
- Vegetative hyphae lack septa. Hence, nuclei freely move between the cells. Septa are formed only during the formation of the sporangium.
- The cell wall of both fungal types is made up of chitosan rather than chitin.
- They undergo extracellular digestion, secreting digestive enzymes onto the substrate and absorbing nutrients.
- Both undergo asexual and sexual reproduction.
- Sporangiophores bear zygospores.
- Both form gray-white, gray-brown or brown, cottony or wooly colonies on agar rapidly without distinct margins.
- Animals may encounter them through inhalation or ingestion.
- Both are associated with sinus and pulmonary disease in individuals with a predisposition to immunosuppression, burns, diabetes, malnourishment, and intravenous drug abuse.
Difference Between Mucor and Rhizopus
Mucor: A genus of molds having round, usually cylindrical or pear-shaped sporangia not clustered and not limited in location to points
Rhizopus: A genus of mold fungi including some economically valuable forms and some plant or animal pathogens
Mucor: Pin mold
Rhizopus: Black mold
Mucor: No rhizoids
Rhizopus: The branch point of the sporingophor consists of rhizoids
Mucor: Branched sporangiophore
Rhizopus: Generally unbranched
Mucor: No stolons
Rhizopus: Stolons connect sporangiophores with the rhizoids
Mucor: No apophyses
Rhizopus: Contain apophyses in sporangia
Mucor: Produces sporangial collarette on dissolving
Rhizopus: No sporangial collarette
At 40 °C
Mucor: Cannot grow
Rhizopus: Pathogenic species can grow
Mucor: Generally a contaminant
Rhizopus: Generally invasive
Mucor: White-to-gray, cotton candy; darken with time
Rhizopus: Resemble cotton candy; darken with age into gray or yellow-brown
Mucor lacks rhizoids and stolons while Rhizopus has both rhizoids and stolons. Rhizoids occur at the base of the sporingophor. Stolons connect sporingophor to the rhizoids in Rhizopus. Mucor and Rhizopus produce sporangia upon the fusion of hyphae with different mating types as their sexual reproduction method. The main difference between Mucor and Rhizopus is the presence of rhizoids and stolons.
1. McDonald, William. “Zygomycetes.” A Resident’s Fungal Morphology, Available Here