The main difference between septate and aseptate hyphae is that septate hyphae contain cells separated by cell walls, whereas aseptate hyphae contain cells that are not separated by cell walls.
Septate and aseptate hyphae are two hyphae that occur in fungi. The presence of cell walls differentiates them.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Septate Hyphae
– Definition, Types, Facts
2. What are Aseptate Hyphae
– Definition, Types, Facts
3. Similarities Between Septate and Aseptate Hyphae
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Septate and Aseptate Hyphae
– Comparison of Key Differences
Aseptate Hyphae, Septate Hyphae
What are Septate Hyphae
Septate hyphae are a type of hyphae that contain walls or septa between cells. Importantly, hyphae are long, branching structures of fungi. Also, mycelium is the vegetative growth of fungal hyphae. However, hypha contains one or more cells surrounded by cell walls. Significantly, internal cross walls occur in many fungi separating cells in the hyphae. Additionally, septa perforate by pores through which mitochondria, ribosomes, and sometimes nuclei flow between cells. Septate hyphae mainly occur in Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes fungi.
Furthermore, Basidiomycetes is a division of fungi characterized by the formation of basidia and basidiospores exogenously. Moreover, due to the presence of sexual spore-bearing cells called basidia, the fungi under the Basidiomycetes division are called club fungi. Here, millions of spores occur on the club-shaped basidia on the gills’ surface. Therefore, another name for Basidiomycota is gill fungi. Around 25,000 species of Basidiomycota have been identified so far. These fungi can be either decomposers, mycorrhizal, or plant pathogens. Additionally, Basidiomycota can break down large polymers in the plant cell wall, such as lignin.
Moreover, Ascomycetes is another division of fungi characterized by the formation of asci and ascospores endogenously. It is one of the largest and morphologically diverse groups of fungi. There are around 60,000 well-known species of Ascomycota. The group ranges from the unicellular yeast to the multicellular cup fungi. Half of the members of the division are involved in the formation of lichens. Others form mycorrhizal relationships with plants. Very few of them are animal and plant pathogens.
Also, the main characteristic feature of Ascomycota is the formation of four to eight sexual spores inside a microscopic sac called ascus. Hence, they are known as sac fungi. Ascocarps bear these asci. However, Ascomycota’s main form of reproduction is asexual reproduction, which occurs through the formation of numerous asexual spores called conidia. Generally, conidia are formed at the tips of fungal hyphae.
What are Aseptate Hyphae
Aseptate fungi are another type of fungi, characteristically not containing septa. Zygomycete is an example of aseptate fungi.
Zygomycetes are a class of terrestrial fungi characterized by thick-walled, resting spores known as zygospores. These zygospores are formed by the fusion of protoplasts of two equal or unequal gametangia. Zygomycetes’ terrestrial members are mainly saprotrophs; some are coprophilous, growing on dung. Parasitic species, including pin molds, infect other fungi, insects, or protozoa. Some of them are obligate parasites on other members of Zygomycetes. In higher plants, they are facultative weak parasites.
Further, the fungal hyphae of Zygomycetes are non-septate, but old hyphae may contain septa. This class forms septa while forming reproductive structures and sealing off injuries. One of the main characteristic features of Zygomycetes is the absence of motile cells in the life cycle. The asexual spores known as sporangiospores or mitospores are produced inside sporangia. Furthermore, Zygomycetes have economic importance as they are used to ferment food items and to produce enzymes, acids, etc.
Similarities Between Septate and Aseptate Hyphae
- Septate and aseptate hyphae are two types differentiated by the presence of a cell wall.
- They occur in fungi.
Difference Between Septate and Aseptate Hyphae
Septate hyphae refer to the hyphae that have walls (septa) between the cells, while aseptate hyphae refer to the hyphae that do not contain septa or a long cell that is not divided into compartments.
The septate hyphae contain cell walls, separating cells, while aseptate hyphae do not contain cell walls separating the cells.
Septate hyphae contain openings called pores between cells, while aseptate hyphae are a primitive type of hyphae.
Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes are examples of separate hyphae, while Zygomycetes is an example of aseptate hyphae.
In brief, septate and aseptate hyphae are two types of hyphae that occur in fungi. Septate hyphae contain cell walls that separate the cells in the hyphae. They are called septa, and they contain openings called pores. Both Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes fungi contain septate hyphae. In comparison, aseptate hyphae do not contain cell walls separating the cells in the hyphae. Also, they are a primitive type of hyphae. Zygomycete is an example of aseptate hyphae. Therefore, the main difference between septate and aseptate hyphae is the presence of septa.
- (2022a, May 4). 4.2: Characteristics of fungi. Biology LibreTexts.