Definition of archaea in English:

archaea

Line breaks: ar|chaea
Pronunciation: /ɑːˈkiːə
 
/

noun

Biology
Microorganisms which are similar to bacteria in size and simplicity of structure but radically different in molecular organization. They are now believed to constitute an ancient group which is intermediate between the bacteria and eukaryotes. Also called archaebacteria.
More example sentences
  • Unlike bacteria and archaea, eukaryotes have their DNA in linear pieces that are bound up with special proteins to make chromosomes.
  • Marine plants literally live in a sea of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi - some of which are bound to be pathogenic - yet they seldom get sick.
  • Bacteria and archaea often clone themselves, trade genes, and in some cases the microbes even merge together into a giant mass of DNA that then gives rise to spores.

Origin

modern Latin (plural), from Greek arkhaios 'primitive'.

Derivatives

archaean

(also archaeal) adjective & noun
More example sentences
  • The conditions at Champagne Pool are ideal for thermophilic, mildly acidophilic archaeans such as the Sulfobales and Thermoproteales.
  • Each pool has slightly different mineral content, temperature, salinity, etc., so different pools may contain different communities of archaeans and other microbes.
  • In fact, there are fossil microbes known from throughout the Precambrian, but here a second problem surfaces - how do you distinguish fossil archaeans from fossil bacteria?

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