Archaea VS Bacteria Essay

2401 Words May 8th, 2015 10 Pages
Should Bacteria and Archaea belong to the same Kingdom?

The main purpose of this essay is to find out if Archaea and Bacteria should be classified as two different Kingdoms or as a single one. As organisms, bacteria and archaea both are microscopic and prokaryotic (not possessing a true nucleus). These prokaryotes are very abundant on Earth and inhabit a wide spread of areas, including extreme ones. Both are an example of the most ancient living cells, which have appeared over 3.5 billion years ago. Correct classification of these organisms is important in order to trace the evolutionary history from the very beginning and make a clearer picture of the common ancestor, if it existed. This work will explain the basic taxonomy
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Though performing an extremely wide range of sustenance among prokaryotes, certain distinctions can still be followed between bacteria and archaea. For example, Shafer (1999) lists methanogenesis (or production of methane) as being unique to some anaerobic archaea living in the digestive tract of cattle. Phototrophic energy transduction is another example typical for certain archaeal groups by the author. However, according to Bryant (2006) only some of the bacteria can perform photosynthesis, while archaea are unable to photosynthesise.

Going even deeper into the structure of both organisms helps to reveal new differences and similarities between them. In fact, the result of comparing archaea and bacteria depends of how well studied both are. Scientists recently learned how to study DNA and genes, but a lot of information still remains uncovered. Genome and other DNA-based differences in archaea and bacteria are numerous and can only be discussed superficially in this work.

Alva (2006) describes archaeal histone-like structures discovered in some of their genomes. Histones are protein structures that allow to organize the DNA strands into nucleosomes – structural units of chromatin. The histones themselves, differ between organisms. In eukaryotes, for example, they have octamer structure composed of different histone proteins. In archaea those structures are tetrameric and resemble the central part of the eukaryotic

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