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Do Bacteria Cells Have a Nucleus? Video

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  • 0:01 Bacterial Cells
  • 0:54 Types of Cells
  • 1:57 Nucleus
  • 3:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stephanie Matalone

Stephanie taught high school science and math and has a Master's Degree in Secondary Education.

In this lesson we'll go over the differences in the basic types of cells, explaining what bacteria are and where they fit into the classification. Along the way, we'll discuss whether or not bacteria cells have a nucleus and how it affects them.

Bacteria Cells

You've probably heard of bacteria before. After all, bacteria cells get a bad rap for causing all sorts of diseases. But these small cells not only come in different shapes and sizes - such as a sphere, rod, or spiral cones - they have different purposes, as well.

There are actually many good bacteria that help you survive, such as the Lactobacillous bacteria that helps digest your food. But, there are also many harmful bacteria that cause disease, such as the ones that cause cholera and syphilis. Most harmful bacteria that we come in contact with do not actually cause us harm because of the protection of our immune system.

So now we know some basics on bacteria, but we haven't actually answered the big question -- do bacteria cells have a nucleus? To answer that question, we should first determine what type of cells bacteria are.

Types of Cells

There are two classifications that all cells fit into: eukaryotic or prokaryotic.

  • Eukaryotic cells , or eukaryotes, are larger, more complicated cells that make up plants and animals.
  • Prokaryotic cells, or prokaryotes, are smaller, simpler cells that make up most single-celled organisms.

The major difference is that eukaryotic cells have a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. Prokaryotic cells lack most organelles, namely the nucleus, which contains genetic information and controls everything that goes on in the cell.

Bacteria cells are prokaryotes, which means they do not have many of the organelles that eukaryotic cells have. Therefore, and most importantly, bacteria cells do not have a nucleus. They only contain the following organelles: cell membrane for protection, cell wall for stability, ribosomes for protein production, and cytoplasm for organelle housing.

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