The universe is so diverse that there are numerous organisms and microorganisms living in different habitats. All these organisms are made up of cells, being the building blocks of any living thing. Different components make up the entire cell. These components or structures have unique functions. They work in coordination to support life. The most important and basic structure found in cells is the cell wall, which is external to the cell membrane. This outer covering protects the cell from the harsh environment.
Most cells have cell walls, but some organisms lack cell walls. Animal cells are irregular in shape and lack cell walls, whereas plants, fungi, and bacteria have cell walls. If you are wondering whether archaebacteria have a cell wall then let’s find out here.
What is Archaebacteria?
Archaebacteria also known as the ‘’ancient bacteria’’ belong to the kingdom Monera and are the oldest species living on the Earth. Archaebacteria are simple unicellular prokaryotes and are invisible to the naked eye. They exist in different shapes, including rod-shaped, rectangular-shaped, or irregular-shaped. They live in extreme environments and are popularly known as extremophiles. The most common habitats of archaebacteria are hot springs, geysers, under the ice, or at the bottom of the sea. Archaebacteria have some similarities with bacteria and eukaryotes but are different from both of them due to this reason, they are classified into a separate kingdom.
Examples of Archaebacteria
Some common examples of archaebacteria are as follows:
- Thermophyllus aquaticus
- Sulfolobus tokodaii
- Methanobrevibacter smithii
- Pyrolobus fumarii
Does Archaebacteria Have a Cell Wall?
Archaebacteria have a cell wall, composed of various polysaccharides and proteins. The cell wall in archaebacteria plays the same role as any cell wall. It protects the organism from the outside environment and acts as a barrier, preventing the entry of toxins or harmful substances into the cell. Although they resemble bacteria, their cell wall is different from bacteria. The bacterial cell wall is composed of peptidoglycans, but these unique species do not have peptidoglycan in their cell wall. The rigid and complex cell wall of archaebacteria allows them to survive in harsh environments.
Features of Archaebacteria’s Cell Wall
The cell wall of archaebacteria is different from both bacteria and eukaryotes. They have diverse and unique structures making up their cell walls. Instead of peptidoglycan, they have unique lipids that are attached to the glycerol with repeating isoprenyl groups. Another distinct feature of archaea’s cell wall is its composition of an S layer of glycoproteins arranged in a lattice and attached to the cell membrane. All types of archaebacteria have the same type of cell wall composition except for methanobacteria, whose cell wall is composed of pseudo peptidoglycan. Some other components of archaeal cell walls include:
- Sulfated heteropolysaccharides
- Protein sheaths
Characteristics of Archaebacteria
Archaebacteria are unlike any other bacteria or eukaryotes, having several distinct features that set them apart from all other species. These characteristics are mentioned below:
- Archaebacteria are facultative anaerobes therefore, they can undergo methanogenesis.
- Their cell membrane is composed of lipids.
- They lack a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria, chloroplasts, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, etc.
- They have rigid cell walls composed of Pseudomurein, which helps to withstand the effects of lysozyme.
- Archaebacteria can survive in extreme environments and acidic or alkaline regions.
- They can withstand high pressures of up to 200 atmospheres.
- Due to the presence of plasmids, they have antibiotic resistance to some main antibiotics.
- They reproduce asexually by binary fission, fragmentation, and budding.
- They have characteristic tRNAs and ribosomal RNAs and perform unique gene transcription.
Importance of Archaebacteria
Archaebacteria are a unique species and are very important as they have forced scientists to reconsider the basic definition of the term species. When we talk about species, gene flow is known to occur within its members. But archaebacteria show gene glow across its species. For this purpose, they have intrigued scientists for centuries, and several discoveries keep on going about archaebacteria.
The importance of archaebacteria can be analyzed by their unique feature of producing methane as a result of methanogenesis. They act on the organic matter and release methane. This methane is used for different purposes, including cooking and lighting. Thus, these bacteria are essential as they are primary producers.
Cells are the basic units of life and are composed of several organelles. The cell wall is an important organelle found in a cell that provides shape, protection, and rigidity to the cells. Just like plant and animal cells, archaebacteria also contain a cell wall. Archaebacteria are a distinct class of organisms placed in a separate kingdom Monera. They are different from prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The cell wall of archaebacteria consists of layers of S glycoproteins, polysaccharides, and other proteins. They do not have peptidoglycan in their cell wall, which is the main component of the bacterial cell wall. Their good wall allows them to survive under harsh conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Read below to find the answers to some frequently asked questions about archaebacteria:
What is the difference between archaebacteria and bacteria cell walls?
The bacterial cell wall consists of peptidoglycan, whereas archaebacteria’s cell wall is composed of pseudo peptidoglycan, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, or protein.
Do fungi and archaebacteria have the same cell wall?
No, the cell wall of fungi and archaebacteria are not the same. The cell wall of fungi is composed of the N-acetylglucosamine polymer chitin, and the cell wall of archaebacteria is made of glycoprotein S-layers, pseudo peptidoglycan, or polysaccharides.
Do archaebacteria have a nucleus?
Archaebacteria are unicellular prokaryotic organisms lacking a well-defined nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
Jeannie has achieved her Master’s degree in science and technology and is further pursuing a Ph.D. She desires to provide you the validated knowledge about science, technology, and the environment through writing articles.