Biology of Prokaryotes
• The major structures of a prokaryotic cell include a cell wall, a cell membrane, cytoplasm, a capsule, pili, endospores, ribosomes, and sometimes structures for movement, called flagella.
• Endospores are thick-coated, resistant cells that some Gram-positive bacteria form when conditions become unfavorable. Endospores can survive high temperatures, strong chemicals, drying, and radiation and can survive for long periods of time.
• Prokaryotes obtain nutrients either from the nonliving environment or by utilizing the products or bodies of living organisms. Heterotrophs obtain carbon from other organisms. Autotrophs obtain their carbon from CO2.
• Different prokaryotic species live in different environments. Temperature requirements range from 0°C to 110°C. Most prokaryotic species grow best at a neutral pH.
• Genetic recombination in bacteria can occur through transformation, conjugation, and transduction.
Vocabulary plasmid (p. 468) capsule (p. 468) glycocalyx (p. 468) pilus (p. 468)
endospore (p. 469) heterotroph (p. 469) autotroph (p. 469) phototroph (p. 469)
chemotroph (p. 469) obligate anaerobe (p. 470) facultative anaerobe (p. 470) obligate aerobe (p. 470)
transformation (p. 471) conjugation (p. 471) transduction (p. 471)
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