Difference Between Zygomycota And Ascomycota

The key difference between zygomycota and ascomycota is that ascomycota reproduces sexually through the production of ascospores within sac-like structures called asci, while Zygomycota reproduces sexually through the formation of thick-walled resting structures called zygospores.

What is Zygomycota?

Zygomycota is a phylum of fungi characterized by their unique reproductive structure called a zygospore. They include common molds and are known for their ability to rapidly decompose organic matter.

Some key characteristics of Zygomycota include:


These are thick-walled structures formed when two specialized hyphae (filaments) from different mating types come together and fuse. The zygosporangia house the zygospores, which are the result of sexual reproduction.

Asexual Reproduction

 Zygomycota can also reproduce asexually by forming sporangia that release spores. These spores can disperse and germinate to form new fungal colonies.

Coenocytic Hyphae

 The hyphae of Zygomycota are typically coenocytic, which means they lack septa or cross-walls, resulting in multinucleate hyphal cells.

Ecological Importance

 Zygomycota fungi are ecologically significant as they participate in breaking down organic matter, helping in nutrient recycling and decomposition in the environment.

What is Ascomycota?

Ascomycota is a phylum of fungi characterized by the production of sexual spores called ascospores within specialized structures called asci. They include various organisms such as yeasts, molds, and truffles.

Key characteristics of Ascomycota include:


Ascomycota produces sexual spores within specialized sac-like structures called asci. These spores are called ascospores.


Many members of this phylum form complex fruiting bodies called ascocarps, where the asci containing the ascospores are contained. Ascocarps come in various shapes and sizes and are often visible to the naked eye.


Ascomycota has thread-like structures called hyphae, which form the body of the fungus. These hyphae can be either septate (divided by cross-walls) or non-septate.


They reproduce both sexually and asexually. Besides sexual reproduction involving the formation of ascospores, asexual reproduction can occur through the formation of conidia (non-motile spores) or other specialized structures.

Zygomycota vs Ascomycota

The key difference between Zygomycota and Ascomycota is given below:

Sexual ReproductionBy formation of zygospores.By formation of ascospores.
Asexual ReproductionBy formation of sporangiospores or conidia.By formation of conidia.
Hyphal StructureCoenocytic (lacking septa).Septate (divided by septa).
HabitatSoil, decaying organic matter, plants, and animals.Wide range of habitats including soil, plants, and animals.
ExamplesRhizopus, Mucor.Saccharomyces (yeast), Penicillium.

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