Are Fungi Prokaryotic or Eukaryotic?

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Is Fungi Prokaryotic or Eukaryotic?

The living organisms on Earth differ in their structures, habit, habitat, physiology, and mode of nutrition. We know these differences between plants and animals.

We all love to eat mushrooms. Have you questioned ‘Is Fungi a plant ?’ – No.

According to R. H. Whittaker’s Five Kingdom classification, We know that it belongs to Kingdom Fungi. They usually grow on dead and decay matter. In this article, we are here to answer your questions, Is Fungi Prokaryotic or Eukaryotic?

Is Fungi Prokaryotic or Eukaryotic? 

Fungi is a Eukaryotic Organism. It has a prominent nucleus and well-organized membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria, chloroplast, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, etc. They all integrate together and perform the activities of the cell.

CharacteristicsThey are Eukaryotes, Multi-celled with Organelles.
MotilityThey are non-motile.
HostThey grow on their own.
Cell MembraneCell membrane exists.
Mode of nutritionHeterotrophs

Why Fungi is Eukaryotic?

Fungi is a Eukaryotic Organisms, because, the cells of Fungi have a definite nucleus surrounded by a nuclear membrane and organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies, etc.

Here, Let’s know about eukaryotic organisms in detail.

 What are eukaryotes?

Eukaryotes are organisms with a well-developed prominent nucleus, nuclear membranes, and organized membrane-bound organelles. In Greek, Eu’ means ‘true’ and karyon’ means nucleus’.

These Eukaryotic organisms have a prominent nucleus with tightly coiled chromosomes. These chromosomes contain DNA with histone proteins H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 attached to it. The chromatin organization is complex. It possesses all the membrane-bound organelles.

It contains 80S ribosomes (60S+40S). In most eukaryotes, cell division takes place through mitosis and meiosis.

Eukaryotic cell

Endosymbiotic theory:

The Endosymbiotic theory states that the Eukaryotes are descendants of Prokaryotes. The ancestors of eukaryotes engulfed a bacterium, and it continued inside the host cell. Thus, the cell organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplast were formed.

Endosymbiotic theory

Some examples of eukaryotes

All the species under the Kingdom Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia are eukaryotes. Some of the species of Kingdom Protista are eukaryotes.

Why Fungi is not Prokaryotic?

Fungi is not prokaryotic, because the cells of Fungi have a definite nucleus surrounded by a nuclear membrane and organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies, etc,.

To understand the answer, let us know about prokaryotic organisms in detail.

What are prokaryotes?

Prokaryotes are unicellular organisms that do not have a prominent nucleus without a nuclear membrane, and membrane-bound organelles. In Greek, Pro – primitive, karyo – nucleus. They are the first life forms in this world.

Usually, these prokaryotic organisms lack a nuclear membrane to their genetic material. They lack chromatin organization. They do not contain organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, etc,.

These organisms have 70S ribosomes(50S+30S). Their genetic material is circular, single-stranded, and does not contain histone proteins attached to its DNA. Hence, they are called Nucleiod or Genophore.

These Unicellular organisms have an extrachromosomal double-stranded structure called Plasmid. These are used in R-DNA technology. The cell division takes place by Binary fission.

prokaryotic cells

Some examples of prokaryotes

Species that belong to the kingdom Monera are prokaryotes. Bacteria and Archaebacteria prokaryotic organisms.

Difference between Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms:

In eukaryotes, the genetic material, DNA is present in the nucleus, mitochondria, and chloroplast. In prokaryotes the genetic material, DNA is present in circular chromosomes and plasmids.

eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells

Eukaryotes and prokaryotes have cell walls, plasma membranes, DNA, ribosomes, and cytoplasm in common. The cell structure of both eukaryotes and prokaryotes are almost similar.


What is Fungi?

Fungi is a eukaryotic, heterotrophic organism. In Latin, the word ‘fungus’ means ‘ mushroom’. It can be either macroscopic or microscopic in its structure. We can see the growth of fungus in bread molds and on dead plants. Fungal cells do not have chlorophyll pigment hence, they are colorless.

Is fungi eukaryotic?

They exist as both unicellular and multicellular organisms. Most of the Fungi are multicellular and macroscopic. The study of Fungi is called Mycology. In Greek, ‘makes’ means ‘mushroom’, and ‘logos’ means ‘study’.

In the Traditional system of classification, the plant kingdom was sub-divided as Cryptogams (non-flowering plants) and Phanerogams (flowering plants). Fungi were placed under the Sub-class Cryptogams as Thallophyta. They are called Thallophytes because they have different shaped fruiting body structures called Thallus. Some examples of Fungi with fruiting bodies are-

In Ascomycetes, the fruiting body is called Ascocarp.

In Basidiomycetes, the fruiting body is called Basidiocarp.

Some Fungi are saprophytes, which feed on the dead and decayed matter. Some are parasites, that feed on plants and animals. The cell wall of Fungi is made up of Chitin (polymer of n- acetyl glucosamine).

What are the examples of unicellular fungi?

The only example of unicellular Fungi is Yeast. There are about 1500 subspecies of yeast that exist in nature. We use yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) for the production of alcohols, beverages, and in baking cakes, bread.

What are the examples of multicellular fungi?

Some of the examples of multicellular fungi are Penicillium Sp., Neurospora Sp., Albugo, Agaricus Sp., Claviceps sp., Aspergillus sp., Epidermophyton Sp., Trichophyton Sp., Microsporum Sp., etc,.


Are all the Fungi eukaryotes?

Yes, all the Fungi are Eukaryotic Organisms. Researchers had not found any prokaryotic fungi until now.

Is Fungi yeast, a prokaryote?

No, fungi yeast is a eukaryote. Though yeast is a unicellular organism, it has a
prominent nucleus and well-organized membrane-bound organelles. Hence, it is not a prokaryote.

Do prokaryotic Fungi exist?

No, there are no prokaryotic fungi. All Fungi are eukaryotic organisms.

Are there any Fungi that exist as both prokaryotic and eukaryotic?

No, There is no Fungi that exist as both prokaryotic and Eukaryotic. They are only Eukaryotes. The species that exist as both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are called Mesokaryotes. Some of the species under the Kingdom Protista are mesokaryotes.

How can I tell that a Fungi is a Eukaryote?

Most of the macroscopic Fungi are multicellular. So, they are eukaryotic. But, only by using the microscope, we can determine the cellular nature of the microscopic Fungi.

Also Read:

Beneficial activities of Fungi:

  • Yeast – Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used in the process of fermentation for wine,
    beer, rum, and whisky production.
  • Yeast- Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a major producer of ethanol, which is used in
    industries, labs, and as fuel.
  • It is also used in baking cakes and bread, for making cakes softer and fluffy.
  • It is also used as a single cell protein.
  • Fungal Mycorrhiza likes Rhizoctania, scleroderma associated with plants and helps to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
  • Fungi such as Penicillium notatum, Acremonium chrysogenum, etc,. are used for
    the production of antibiotics.
  • Some Fungi are used in industries, for the production of organic acids such as
    Itaconic acid – Aspergillus terreus, Kojic acid – Aspergillus oryzae.
  • Some fungi like mushrooms are consumed as food because of their high nutrient value.
  • Fungi Gibberella fujikuroi is used to induce plant growth as the growth promoter
    substance Gibberellin.
  • Some Fungi are also used in the production of enzymes such as amylase, protease, etc,.

Harmful activities of Fungi:

  • Some Fungi are toxic and poisonous in nature – Eg. Patulin, Ochratoxin A.
  • Some fungi cause disease to both plants and animals. A blast of paddy, Red rot of sugarcane, Rust of wheat are diseases caused by Fungi to plants. Athletes’ foot to humans is caused by Epidermophyton floccosum.
  • Fungi Candida albicans cause candidiasis in humans.
  • Some fungi such as Trichophyton, Microsporum, Epidermophyton cause allergies to humans.


  • Are fungi prokaryotic or eukaryotic? Fungi are eukaryotic organisms with a prominent nucleus and well-organized membrane-bound organelles.
  • Fungi are eukaryotic, heterotrophic, and ubiquitous organisms.
  • Eukaryotes are organisms with a prominent nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
  • Prokaryotes are organisms that lack a nuclear membrane, a prominent nucleus, and membrane-bound organelles.
  • Fungi are used in the manufacture of beverages, medicine, bakeries, and in industries.
  • According to Endosymbiotic theory, eukaryotes are descendants of prokaryotes.
  • Some fungi are allergic and harmful to plant and animal life.

About the author

topblogtenz author

Welcome to Topblogtenz, My name is Vishal Goyal. I am an engineer, chemistry tutor, blogger, and founder of I'm a science geek with a passion for life sciences and chemistry. Being a chemistry tutor and having a degree in Engineering, I know how hard it is to learn by yourself, that is why I created a site where you can find help related to science and chemistry before everyone else.

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