Cells that lack a membrane-bound nucleus are called prokaryotes (from the Greek meaning before nuclei). These cells have few
internal structures that are distinguishable under a microscope. Cells in the monera kingdom such as bacteria and cyanobacteria
(also known as blue-green algae) are prokaryotes.
Prokaryotic cells differ significantly from eukaryotic cells. They don't have a membrane-bound nucleus and instead of
having chromosomal DNA, their genetic information is in a circular loop called a plasmid. Bacterial cells are very small,
roughly the size of an animal mitochondrion (about 1-2Ám in diameter and 10 Ám long). Prokaryotic cells feature three major
shapes: rod shaped, spherical, and spiral. Instead of going through elaborate replication processes like eukaryotes, bacterial
cells divide by binary fission.
Diagram of a prokaryotic cell. Notice the internal organelles are not easily distinguishable.
Bacteria perform many important functions on earth. They serve as decomposers, agents of fermentation, and play an important
role in our own digestive system. Also, bacteria are involved in many nutrient cycles such as the nitrogen cycle, which restores
nitrate into the soil for plants. Unlike eukaryotic cells that depend on oxygen for their metabolism, prokaryotic cells enjoy
a diverse array of metabolic functions. For example, some bacteria use sulfur instead of oxygen in their metabolism.
this is another diagram pic of a prokaryotic cell