Archaea - Reproduction


Further information: Asexual reproduction

Archaea reproduce asexually by binary or multiple fission, fragmentation, or budding; meiosis does not occur, so if a species of archaea exists in more than one form, all have the same genetic material. Cell division is controlled in a cell cycle; after the cell's chromosome is replicated and the two daughter chromosomes separate, the cell divides. Details have only been investigated in the genus Sulfolobus, but that cycle has characteristics that are similar to both bacterial and eukaryotic systems. The chromosomes replicate from multiple starting-points (origins of replication) using DNA polymerases that resemble the equivalent eukaryotic enzymes. However, the proteins that direct cell division, such as the protein FtsZ, which forms a contracting ring around the cell, and the components of the septum that is constructed across the center of the cell, are similar to their bacterial equivalents.

Both bacteria and eukaryotes, but not archaea, make spores. Some species of Haloarchaea undergo phenotypic switching and grow as several different cell types, including thick-walled structures that are resistant to osmotic shock and allow the archaea to survive in water at low salt concentrations, but these are not reproductive structures and may instead help them reach new habitats.

Read more about this topic:  Archaea

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