E. coli bacterium, illustration

E. coli bacterium, illustration

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Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: E. coli bacterium. Illustration of the inner structure of a typical prokaryote cell, in this case an Escherichia coli bacterium. Prokaryote cells do not have a membrane-bound nucleus and organelles. There are few well-distinguished internal structures in prokaryotes, in contrast to the multitude of distinct organelles in eukaryotes. Included here are circular DNA (red), ribosomes (pink), and a few cytoplasmic inclusions (yellow). A typical bacterium is covered by an external capsule (with 'hairs' called fimbriae), and has a rigid cell wall, and an inner cytoplasmic membrane. Some bacteria also have appendages called flagella that they use for locomotion.

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