What are Archaebacteria?

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  • Written By: Michael Anissimov
  • Edited By: R. Kayne
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Archaebacteria are a type of prokaryote, that is, a unicellular organism without a cell nucleus. They make up the kingdom Archae, one of the main kingdoms of life. These organisms are difficult to classify because they have similarities to both normal bacteria and the larger eukaryotes. In structure, they are like unicellular prokaryotes, but the genetic transcription and translation underlying their creation is similar to that of the more complex eukaryotes.

Able to live in a variety of environments, archaebacteria are known as extremophiles. Certain species are able to live in temperatures above boiling point at 100° Celsius or 212° Fahrenheit. They can also thrive in very saline, acidic, or alkaline aquatic environments. They employ a variety of chemical tricks to accomplish this, with one species, halobacteria, able to convert light into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or cell energy, using a non-photosynthetic process. Halobacteria live in waters almost completely saturated with salt, and unlike photosynthetic plants, are incapable of extracting carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Archaebacteria have a size between 1/10th of a micrometer to over 15 micrometers. (A human hair is about 100 micrometers in width.) Some possess flagella, but these are substantially different in structure than the flagella bacteria have. In 1999, Pyrococcus abyssi, one of the toughest archaebacteria on Earth, had its genome sequenced. Further study of its resilience to extreme temperatures is expected to have applications in the biotechnology industry. Archaebacteria are non-pathogenic, living in and around other organisms but not infecting them. Some are able to withstand pressures of above 200 atmospheres, allowing them to thrive deep within the Earth.

Archaebacteria were not recognized as a distinct form of life from bacteria until 1977, when Carl Woese and George Fox determined this through RNA studies. However, the kingdom Archae has a close relationship to the kingdom Eukarya, the two sharing many genetic trees and common traits. One of the first places Archae were discovered was at the boiling hot springs in Yellowstone National Park.


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Post 74

To answer some questions: All bacteria are unicellular. All bacteria are prokaryotic, They are heterotrophs, autotrophs, and decomposers.

Post 66

What does an archaebacteria have in common with a white blood cell, antibody, and a red blood cell?

Post 64

I want to know how is it harmful to humans?

Post 61

I need to know about the respiration of archaebateria.

Post 60

Some examples of archaebacteria are methanogens,

halophiles and thermoaciophiles.

Post 59

@anon7593: Archaebacteria live in extreme places like hot springs and hot sulfur springs. Archaebacteria are also autotrophs and use chemosynthesis instead of photosynthesis.

Post 58

what do they eat?

Post 57

what is the reason for archaebacteria?

Post 55

Archaebacteria have a cell wall, it just doesn't have any peptidoglycan, but eubacteria do have peptidoglycan.

Post 52

Archeabacteria live in extreme conditions where any other living organisms could not survive. that is the difference between archeabacteria and eubacteria.

Post 51

What is the type of circulatory system that has archeobacteria?

Post 50

are they heterotrophic or autotrophic?

Post 49

how can archeobacteria survive without a cell wall?

Post 48

How are the organisms in archeabateria useful to humans?

Post 47

whats the taxonomy of an archaebacteria? like what would an example of one be?

Post 45

Are they heterotroph or autotroph?

Post 44

How are they important to humans?

Post 40

why do scientists think that Archaebacteria were the first forms of life on our planet?

Post 39

Archaebacteria are very similar to prokaryotes. But they differ from the cell wall and the cell membrane. In prokaryotic cell membrane a phospholipid bi layer is present. But in archaebacteria a single layer of phospholipid is available. That's a reason why they could live in very limited resource environments.

Post 34

do the archaebacteria have endospores?

Post 32

What was their contribution to life on earth?

Post 31

are archaebacteria harmful or helpful to our environment?

Post 30

What do archaebacteria have to do with humans as in diseases and sickness? What do they eat?

Post 29


Post 28

can some body tell me what biology is about?

Post 26

can somebody help me find the reason why archaebacterias were the first thing to exist on the world?

Post 24

Help! what are at least five cell structures of an archaebacteria cell?

Post 21

How do they benefit and or harm the environment?

Post 20

well, if some archaebacteria can produce ATP without photosynthetic processes. maybe we can make use of this energy to replace car fuel and reduce the harmful pollution that is caused. archaebacteria is a wide sector and must be really taken into consideration.

Post 19

How would Jesus know? He was born only 2000 years ago.

Post 18

Jesus begs to differ about Archaebacteria being the first organism.

Post 17

Where does archeabacteria form?

Post 16

I need to some some different species of bacteria.

Post 15

archaebacteria are unicellular which means that they consist only of a single cell. as to some of the other questions, i do not quite know because i am only at high school level, a sophomore. I think that archaebacteria are neither producer or consumer for they are almost like parasites but they do not harm the host or help it. Well, one main reason why we desperate archaebacteria from eubacteria is because archaebacteria can survive at extreme temperatures and climate while eubacteria cannot survive in extreme environments. Example, a eubacteria organism such as a virus and an archaebacteria such as a thermophile differ because the virus would die before the temperature of the water it is in reached boiling point

but the thermophile would be fine. I do not understand how or why this is so, but I have a theory that archaebacteria can adapt or acclimate to their environment at a rapid rate, I mean, they've been around for ages. Hey, maybe we could, if we studied them further, we could someday survive extreme temperatures and/or climates without the use of expensive equipment.
Post 13

please tell me what makes archaebacterias different from cyanobacteria and eubacteria!

Post 12

are they single celled or multicellular?

Post 10

My question is either archaebacteria can it be called cury thermal or not?

Post 8

What r some other types of Archaebacteria?

Post 7

what are different structures and function of Archaebacteria?

Post 6

could the genome of Pyrococcus abyssi show us how to change human genomes so we could survive freezing temperatures without expensive equipment?? food for thought

Post 4

Is Archaebacteria a producer or consumer????

Post 3

what are the reasons why we separate the archaebacteria from eubacteria?

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