Fungi were once classified as plants because they have similar characteristics of plants such as they have cell walls and they grow in soil.

Fungi also do not move from place to place, so all of these identities helped science to field Fungi with plants. Some fungus even looks like plants!

It was only later, that they decided that they would give fungus its own classification because of one difference, and that is because they are made up of chitin instead of cellulose.


Fungi now are classified in their own kingdom because of the differences that set them apart from plants.

With the difference between the chitin and the cellulose, this was one important difference. Chitin is a carbohydrate that is strong, and it makes up the cell walls of the fungi.

Another huge difference between fungi and plants is the fact that fungi cannot make their own food.

We know that plants use photosynthesis to make their own food, but fungi cannot do this.

They get their own food by absorbing nutrients from other organisms that are close by.

Classification of Fungi

There are many different systems that help to classify fungi and one of these is phyla.

The different phylum has different descriptions of the fungi and help to break down the way they are classified even more.


The Zygomycota phylum of the fungi describes fungi that live in soil that is made of foods and breads.

This type of fungi includes mold such as the green stuff we find on bread.


Basidiomycota is a fungus that have different shapes and sizes and they are considered different species of fungi.

Some of these are the mushroom. Mushrooms come in different sizes, shapes and some are edible, while some are poisonous.


The Ascomycota fungi are found all over the world. Some of these types of fungi include yeast that bakers use to make bread.

Facts About Fungi Classification:

  • There are over 1000 different types of fungus.
  • Fungus are eukaryotic, this means that fungi have a nucleus and contain DNA.
  • Fungi reproduce through spores and not by seeds.
  • Fungi cannot move.
  • Some medicine is made of fungi such as penicillin.
  • Fungi help things to decompose because they help break down organic matter.
  • Scientists who study fungi are called Mycologists.
  • Even though fungi were once classified as the plant classification, they are closer to the animal classification because they have a nucleus and DNA.

What Did You Learn?

  • How many classifications of fungi are there? There are three different classifications of fungi and this helps to break the species into different groups.
  • Why are fungi not plants? Fungi are not plants because they do not grow by seeds and because they have chitin in their cell wall instead of cellulose, but most importantly, they do not make their own food.
  • What is a scientist called that studies fungi? Mycologists are scientists that study fungi.
  • Why are fungi closer related to animals than plants? Fungi are more closely related to animals than plants because they have a nucleus and contain DNA.
  • Are any foods that we eat fungi? Yes, we eat foods such as mushrooms that are part of the fungi classification.