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Understanding Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

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There are many different cells that do many different things. But all of these cells fall into two categories: prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells contain a nucleus and are larger in size than prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells do not contain a nucleus, are smaller and simpler than eukaryotic cells. Two of their similarities are they both have DNA as their genetic material and are covered by a cell membrane. Two main differences between these two cells are age and structure. It is believed that prokaryotic cells were the first forms on earth. They are considered primitive and originated approximately 3.5 billion years ago. Eukaryotic cells have only been around for about a billion years. There is strong evidence that suggests eukaryotic cells may be evolved from groups of prokaryotic cells that became interdependent on each other (Phenotypic analysis. (n.d.).
Phenotypic methods of classifying microorganisms describe the diversity of bacterial species by naming and grouping organisms based on similarities. The differences between Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes are basic. Bacteria can function and reproduce as single cells but often combine into multicellular colonies. Bacteria are also surrounded by a cell wall. Archaea differ from bacteria in their genetics and biochemistry. Their cell membranes are made with different material than bacteria. Just like bacteria, archaea are also single cell and are surrounded by a cell wall. Eukaryotes, unlike bacteria and archaea, contain a nucleus. And like bacteria and archaea, eukaryotes have a cell wall. The Gram stain is a system used to characterize bacteria based on the structural characteristics of their cell walls. A Gram-positive cell will stain purple if cell walls are thick and a Gram-negative cell wall appears pink. Most bacteria can be classified as belonging to one of four groups (Gram-positive cocci, Gram-positive bacilli, Gram-negative cocci, and Gram-negative bacilli) (Phenotypic analysis. (n.d.).
Staphylococcus epidermidis is classified as a bacterium. This particular bacterium is identified in laboratory testing by its forms of clusters and a violet stain. The violet stain indicates that the staphylococcus epidermidis is gram- positive meaning that it is sphere shaped and does not contain an outer cell membran). This type of Staphylococcus does not typically cause disease in healthy people. However, S. epidermidis is quite the opportunist.
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