From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Microbiology (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Microbiology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Microbiology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the importance scale.

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Molecular and Cellular Biology (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Molecular and Cellular Biology. To participate, visit the WikiProject for more information.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.

This article has comments here.

WikiProject Tree of Life (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Tree of Life, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of taxonomy and the phylogenetic tree of life on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
This article has an assessment summary page.


First paragraph "Prokaryotes do not have a nucleus, mitochondria..." Second paragraph of Relationship to Eukaryotes "...two organelles found in eukaryotic cells contain mitochondria similar in size and makeup to those found in prokaryotes" Contradictory, and needs cleaning up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


Could somebody please describe difference between Bacteria and Archea ?

See those pages.


Scientific classification
Domain: Prokaryota
Superkingdom: Monera

Archaea - Archeobacteria

Bacteria - Eubacteria

Scientific classification

Archaea - Archeobacteria

Bacteria - Eubacteria

Scientific classification

Archaea - Archeobacteria

Bacteria - Eubacteria

Scientific classification

Archaea - Archeobacteria

Bacteria - Eubacteria

It does seem that Procarya or similar is the taxon for this Empire, with Eucarya or similar being the other. As we're not using the three-domain system, can't it be placed in the domain box? 16:14, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • Note in other languages, there is a prokaryota domain.

The other languages have made a minor error, then. Domains specifically refer to Woese's groups. It would be ok to use an empire Prokaryota, if we wanted to commit to the 2-empire system instead. I wouldn't mind, but I'm not sure we should. Domains are questionable but much more popular, and Prokaryota is often broken down differently. All in all, none of the ranks above kingdom are really standard and they don't add very much information, beyond giving a controversial placement. As such, I would suggest omitting them in cases like this, unless someone has strong opposition. Josh

The box is still a useful navigation guide, just omitting the Domain rank would seem to be sufficient? The two kingdoms listed are Wikipedia recognized as such... 00:41, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't think the top-level pages are sufficiently numerous to make boxes that useful. After all, there are only two prokaryotic kingdoms. If there were an standard system, that would be one thing, but in its absence I don't see why we need to worry about including ranks above kingdom. Most people who know about prokaryotes know about bacteria and archaea already. Also keep in mind categories already provide an alternate, somewhat more flexible navigation system. Josh

Eukaryotes does have a Domain taxobox though, so what is the status of the empire/domain debate? 05:48, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Three domains[edit]

Someone removed the note that the split of the prokaryotes is controversial. Well, a majority of microbiologists do accept the split, but it's based mainly on rRNA trees which are known to be unreliable, and at least until very recently a few other relationships have been argued for - e.g. bacteria paraphyletic, archaea paraphyletic, cyanobacteria (cyanoprokaryotes) a separate group. If the line should be removed, we should at least give a reference explaining why the criticisms no longer stand. Josh There is no questioning that Woese's is now the dominant and widely accepted paradigm, which is not to say that there is no place for a discussion of criticisms of his scheme. But that discussion rightly belongs on the three-domain system page. The current statement is pretty NPOV — it just say "This arrangement", which seems to leave the door cracked for other taxonomic systems. Fawcett5 04:27, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

First "sentence" of 'relationship to eukaryotes' is[edit]

NOT a sentence in 11/1/06 version.Regards,Rich 11:17, 1 November 2006 (UTC)


Can someone please tell me some examples of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes?? Thanks.

Some Prokaryotes: Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Anabaena spp. Some Eukaryotes: Amoeba proteus, Euglena gracilis, Pichia pastoris, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Neurospora crassa, Solanum tuberosum, Taraxacum officinale, Homo sapiens including Plantsurfer (talk) 17:10, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Membranous organelles contradiction[edit]

In the relationship to eukaryotes section it is stated that "[prokaryotes] lack membrane-bound cell compartments such as vacuoles", whereas in the structure section "Membranous organelles are known in some groups of prokaryotes, such as vacuoles". Personally I don't know of any such prokaryotes, but I'm not an expert. If this is true it certainly needs a citation, as well as a specific example. If not, it should be removed Odmrob 18:38, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

some of the examples of prokaryotes are fungi and blue-green algae in eukaryotes are kingdom animalia,plantae,protozoa, and ??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:01, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

The example used is the Planctomycetes, which are bacteria. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:24, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

The fact that they lack organelles isn't really true I'd say. Many of these organisms have protein-membrane-enclosed spaces that are functionally the same as lipid-membrane-enclosed spaces, that is, they're act as organelles. Carboxysomes in cyanobacateria are an example. It wasn't possible to see them before, hence people said that these microorganisms didn't have subcompartments. Now we know more. See Cannon GC, Bradburne CE, Aldrich HC, Baker SH, Heinhorst S, Shively JM (2001) Microcompartments in Prokaryotes: Carboxysomes and Related Polyhedra. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67, 5351–5361. (talk) 22:50, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

It would also be worthwhile to include this article in the discussion: [1] as it seems to fairly definitively settle the question. (Bproth (talk) 00:37, 17 February 2013 (UTC))

Structure - Recent research needs referencing[edit]

"Recent research shows that procaryotes actually do have cytoskeletons albeit more primitive than that of eucaryotes" (Not a direct quote): Whoever wtote this, can you please reference it? What newer research are we talking about here? If I can't check the credibility, then I can't use it! Madskile 19:09, 29 July 2007 (UTC)


In the article Cyanobacteria, this reference is used:

J.C. Meeks et al. (2001). "An overview of the genome of Nostoc punctiforme, a multicellular, symbiotic cyanobacterium". Photosynth. Res. 70: 85–106 A number of important advances have occurred in cyanobacterial biotechnology in the recent years. World wide attention is drawn towards cyanobacteria for their possible use in mariculture, food, feed, fuel, fertilizer, colourant, production of various secondary metabolites including vitamins, toxins, enzymes, pharmaceuticals, pharmacological probes and pollution abatement. Only a few cyanobacterial strains (including Spirulina) have been well–characterized or exploited commercially (Thajuddin and Subramanian. Cyanobacterial biodiversity and potential applications in biotechnology. CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 89, NO. 1, 10 JULY 2005). doi:10.1023/A:1013840025518. 

The abstract does not call this an "organism" though.

Is a multicellular bacterium a multicellular organism? — the Sidhekin (talk) 12:08, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


Mentioning the status of this group in the cladistic system seems like a good idea. As far as I understand the group procaryotes are a polyphyletic group that is roughly defined as "everything living that is not eukaryotes". See the article on neomura.

boxed 11:08, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. In fact, I believe, we should not be promoting the use of the word Prokaryote at all. The phylogeny of the earliest lineages is certainly controversial, but this could be mentioned in the article. It seems to me to be perpetuating sloppy and misleading taxonomy to go on calling prokaryotes a group. Michaplot (talk) 20:44, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Giant prokaryote[edit]

I heard about giant prokaryote, but it`s difficult to understand, how their size is 80-600 micrometers (normal size is 1-2 micrometers). Does anybody know something about it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Unknown organism[edit]

Please have a look at Talk:Microorganism#Unknown_organism.
Maybe you have an idea, qhat this organism could be?
Please answer on Talk:Microorganism#Unknown_organism.

Thanks a lot, Saippuakauppias 16:38, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Big discovery for biogenic magnetite[edit] —Preceding unsigned comment added by DuKu (talkcontribs) 05:08, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Mycorrhiza only part of the problem[edit]

I received the following e-mail in response to a question I posted.

Karl A. Wilson[,] Faculty (Professor), Biological Sciences, S.U.N.Y. at Binghamton (Binghamton University)

Some early reports suggested that mycorrhizal fungi could fix atmospheric nitrogen and pass this on to the associated plant. However, it is now generally accepted that this is not true. It appears that the biological fixation of diatomic nitrogen is only carried out by prokaryotes, e.g. Rhizobium, Acetobacter, and various cyanobacteria. These prokaryotes in turn can associate with mycorrhizal fungi, which in turn associate with the host plant, passing the fixed nitrogen along this chain. Because of this complex rhizosphere, engineering rapeseed (canola, Brassica napus) with a reduce nitrogen fertilizer requirement would really involve the engineering of the entire [Brassica – mycorrhizal fungus – prokaryotic nitrogen fixer] system to produce the appropriate interactions. This is certainly at this point not an easy problem, requiring a better knowledge of these interaction[s] than we presently have.

I'll put this in the Discussion for Mycorrhiza as well. Simesa (talk) 07:02, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

See also Nitrogen fixation, which says the same thing far less simply. Simesa (talk) 07:09, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 18 October 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}}

Please provide a reliable source for, or remove, the claim "..mitochondria being replaced by Mesosomes, which is now where respiration takes place'. The Mesosome article on wikipedia contradicts this. (talk) 22:20, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Done Thanks, Stickee (talk) 01:45, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Correction needed in Section 1. Relationship to eukaryotes[edit]

In section 1, Relationship to eukaryotes, there is a line that reads

Also the size of Ribosomes in prokaryotes is smaller than that in eukaryotes, which is now where respiration takes place.

This makes no sense. Ribosomes are the site of protein synthesis. Respiration in bacteria takes place in multiple locations including reactions in the cytoplasm and electron transport cascades in the cytoplasmic membrane. And finally, ribosome does not need to be capitalized.

I would recommend that this line be changed to:

Also, prokaryotic ribosomes, the cytoplasmic structure responsible for protein synthesis, are smaller than those of eukaryotic cells.

I am not certain what the best source for this information would be since this is basic biology that would be learned in freshman biology.

Thank you, (talk) 17:32, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Plus, the text says that ribosomes are "now" where respiration takes place. Even if they were the respiration site, this would hardly be something that had been changed recently -- more like 3.5 billion years ago. So it is not something that happens "now". I mean, it does, but there is nothing that warrants special notice about "now". There has been no recent change! SrAtoz (talk) 13:49, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I was also puzzled by that sentence, and I took a stab at fixing it. I removed the part about respiration, but I wasn't sure how to add in a description of their function in protein synthesis, since the sentence was describing differences between eukaryotes and prokaryotes and so it seemed more important to describe the differences between the ribosomes than to discuss their function. I suspect that the "respiration" line might be a fragment from an earlier edit? I'm thinking that perhaps someone had put in a description of mitochondrial and chloroplast ribosomes, and then maybe another editor deleted part of it?
I simply replaced the "respiration" part of the sentence with a mention that two organelles within eukaryotic cells have similar ribosomes to those in prokaryotic cells. I didn't name mitochondria and chloroplasts by name, since they're mentioned elsewhere in that paragraph, but obviously that could be added for clarity. On the other hand, I can also see how it might be simpler to just have the sentence end after "smaller than that in eukaryotes" since bringing the organelles into the picture could just make things more confusing. I certainly wouldn't argue if anyone wanted to just end the sentence there.
I used the same source cited in the ribosome article where the similarities between the ribosomes of mitochondria and chloroplasts are compared to that in prokaryotes, so hopefully that should be adequate. I'm fairly confident of the validity and verifiability of it, so if that source isn't adequate, there's probably plenty of others. Hyperion35 (talk) 05:28, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Evolution section[edit]

I'm not loving the Evolution section. It makes it sound like there's debate about which came first, eukaryotes vs prokaryotes, when in reality the fossil record is pretty unambiguous, including at least one timeline citation we have on here. I'm going to get the book out for citation #23; it better make it good. (talk) 23:51, 14 November 2011 (UTC)Ubiquitousnewt

Well, there are three different sources cited for the hypothesis that prokaryotes evolved from eukaryotes, and one for all three domains arising more or less simultaneously from one gene pool. So, it does look like there is some debate. I think the question here is whether the proper weight has been accorded those arguments. I don't have access to the cited sources, and have no feel for recent trends in thinking on the subject, so I'll probably stay out of any discussion about weight. -- Donald Albury 11:52, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, I haven't gotten the textbook yet, but I followed the other two citations; it's literally only one paragraph (hate reviews...) but they subsequently cite documents and authors that explain it sufficiently well. & a PhD named Hyman Hartman that brings up some salient considerations, and an ancestor referred to as a "Chronocyte" which I'd just as soon not have to be the one to try to explain here on wikipedia. ("Considering bacteria and archaea don't perform endocytosis, how was this symbiosis event to have occurred?" ...touche' sir.) (talk) 20:25, 15 November 2011 (UTC)Ubiquitousnewt

And the Astrobiology article points on to Were Bacteria the First Forms of Life on Earth?, which does explicitly offer the alternative of prokaryotes evolving from eukaryotes. Very interesting. But, as I said, I'm not sure how much weight to give these arguments in the article. -- Donald Albury 22:39, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
And after reading Transitional forms between the three domains of life and evolutionary implications, I'm thinking it might be best to just state that perceived problems in explaining the relationships among the three domain have led to a proliferation of alternate hypotheses, and cite some examples. -- Donald Albury 00:17, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

In the news: Missing Link in the Evolution of Complex Cells Discovered; Complex Archaea that bridge the gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in Nature. May be too early to incorporate? Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:46, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Needs Updating[edit]

This page is based upon too old studies. It needs to be updated acondingly with the accurate knowlodge. The term prokaryote doesn't make sense anymore. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Androlivei (talkcontribs) 20:26, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

There is no rush. Please wait for others to discuss. What exactly is the problem, and what does your source say that means this article needs to be extensively modified? Johnuniq (talk) 09:26, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I've added the info, thanks. prokaryotes (talk) 21:45, 6 August 2014 (UTC)


Not clear what the phrase ". . . rather than biological classification (Taxonomy) of species" is attempting to say. It is misleading to imply, as it does, that the distinction is not taxonomic. The distinction between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is, of course, a fundamental taxonomic dichotomy. Obviously it is not a distinction at the level of species, but way higher in the hierarchy. So what point is being made? I say we delete this. Plantsurfer (talk) 07:10, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Done. prokaryotes (talk) 08:34, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Plantsurfer, do you also suggest to remove the article category "Obsolete taxonomic groups"? Another further reading, The Prokaryote-Eukaryote Dichotomy: Meanings and Mythology prokaryotes (talk) 01:00, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't suggest that, but it would be my preference. Not that I am advocating the validity of prokaryotes as a group - in view of data to the effect that it is paraphyletic it can now presumably only be thought of as a grade of organisation. The article does not explain that adequately, and it is sufficiently important that it ought to be introduced in the lead. Plantsurfer (talk) 15:26, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

File:Average prokaryote cell- en.svg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Average prokaryote cell- en.svg will be appearing as picture of the day on September 10, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2014-09-10. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:58, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day

A structural diagram of a bacterium. Bacteria are one domain of prokaryote, a single-celled organism which lacks a membrane-bound nucleus (karyon), mitochondria, or any other membrane-bound organelles.

Diagram: LadyofHats
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

The article was improved considerably in past few weeks, if anything needs further attention, please point it out, thanks. --prokaryotes (talk) 21:19, 28 August 2014 (UTC)