What Makes Bacteria and Archaea Different?


Bacteria and archaea both have cell walls, like plant cells.

E. Coli is a species of bacteria.

Although, bacteria’s cell walls are made up of polysaccharide unlike plant cells. Archaea’s cell wall’s can consist of other chemicals besides polysaccharide though. Both of these micro organisms reproduce asexually by splitting their genetic information while splitting their bodies. Since they’re prokryotes, they are smaller than most eukaryotic cells.

A prokaryote has no nuclei. While animal and plant cells have nuclei filled with genetic information, these guys have DNA and RNA floating around in their cytoplasm.

Archaea thrive in volcanic springs like this one.

Each of these organisms live separately as single cells, together in pairs or chains. Both bacteria and archaea can live in a multitude of habitats as long as there’s enough moisture. Interestingly, archaea are known to be extremophiles and enjoy living in places where most living things would find inhabitable like sulfur lakes and deep sea vents.

Although we usually think of bacteria to be disease causing, it’s important to note that the vast majority of these critters do no harm to humans.

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