What are archaeal cells?

1 Answer
Jun 23, 2017

Archaea constitute a domain and kingdom of prokaryotes.


They are single celled microorganisms that have no cell nucleus or any other membrane bound organelle in their cells.

They have been found in a wide range of habitats like hot springs, salt lakes, oceans, marshlands, and soil. They are also found in the human colon, oral cavity and skin.

One property unique to to Archaea is the abundant use of ether linked lipids in their cell membrane. Most archaea possess a cell wall assembled out of surface layer proteins. This layer provides physical protection and can prevent macromolecules from contacting the cell membrane.

Salt tolerant archaea use sunlight as a energy source, while other species of archaea fix carbon. They exhibit a great variety of chemical reactions in their metabolism and use many sources of energy.They are a major part of Earth's life and may play roles in both Carbon and Nitrogen cycle.

They reproduce asexually by binary fission, fragmentation or budding. Archaea are often mutualists or commensals.