Prokaryotic Cells

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  • Prokaryotic Cells
    • Very small, about 0.5-10.0 um long
    • Some contain small circular pieces of genetic material called plasmids that are separate from the nucleoid
      • Can be used as CARRIERS (VECTORS) of genes between cells
    • Many have a CAPSULE or SLIME LAYER outside the cell wall
      • Has several functions ; eg it stops the cell from drying out
      • Protecting against digestion by a host's digestive enzymes
    • Has NO membrane bound organelles
    • Cell wall made of peptidoglycan, NOT CELLULOSE!!
      • This wall maintains the shape of the cell and prevents bursting if water enters by OSMOSIS
    • DO NOT have a membrane bound nucleus
      • Instead they have strands of DNA in the center of the cell know as the NUCLEOID or CIRCULAR DNA
    • Contain RIBOSOMES (smaller than those in eukaryotes)
      • Ribosomes are the site of PROTEIN SYNTHESIS
    • Can have short protein rods called pili projecting from the walls
      • They stick cells together
    • The PLASMA MEMBRANE has the same structure in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
      • It is the main boundary between the cell and the environment
    • SOME bacteria have a long tail-like structure called a FLAGELLUM
      • FLAGELLA have a whip-like structure that rotates to produce movement


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