Parts, Functions & Diagrams of Prokaryotes
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Single-celled prokaryotes are microbes that include bacteria and their bacteria-like cousins Archaea. Prokaryotic cells are much simpler than the more evolutionarily advanced
Whereas eukaryotic cells have many different functional compartments, divided by membranes, prokaryotes only have one membrane (the plasma membrane) enclosing all of the cell’s internal contents. If a eukaryotic cell is analogous to a big house with many different rooms, a prokaryotic cell is like a one-room, studio apartment.
Article Summary: Prokaryotes are simple, single-celled, yet remarkably successful organisms. Here's an overview of the structures and functions of prokaryotic cells.
Prokaryotic Cell Structures, Functions & Diagrams
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Below is a list and description of the main cellular components of prokaryotes, followed by a labelled diagram of a prokaryotic cell.
Internal Structures of Prokaryotic Cells
- Plasma Membrane: The plasma membrane is a double-layer of phospholipids with associated proteins and other molecules. It is essentially the “bag” that holds all of the intracellular material and regulates the movement of materials into and out of the cell.
- Cytoplasm: This is the gel-like fluid that the cell is filled with, inside the plasma membrane--liquid with all of the cellular organelles suspended within.
- Cytoskeleton: It's only recently been discovered that rod-shaped bacteria and Archaea possess cytoskeletal proteins that function in a similar way to the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells. This scaffolding provides structural support to the cell and plays a role in cell-division.
- Ribosomes: All cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, have multiple ribosomes within. Ribosomes are the tiny protein-making machines of the cell.
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