Biodiversity - Prokaryotes

Prokaryotes and the origins of metabolic diversity


  • earliest organisms (3.5 billion years ago)
  • most common organisms on earth
  • diverse group - over rast range of environments
  • structurally simple
  • metabolically complex



  • simple cells
  • cell wall
  • no nucleus
  • circular dna
  • no internal compartments
  • simple cells with a single membrane (lipid bilayer) bound compartment containing cytoplasm
  • cell wall gives the prokaryotic call its shape
  • surface may have pili (projections)
  • DNA…


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