Major Differences Between Archaea and Bacteria You didn’t Notice

Filed in Articles by on April 23, 2021

Difference Between Archaea and Bacteria:  Archaea and bacteria are both microorganisms that fall under the category of Prokaryotes. They are both similar in size and shape but differ in biochemistry -genes and proteins- and different evolutionary histories.

Both bacteria and archaea have different Ribosomal RNAs (rRNA). Archea has three RNA polymerases like eukaryotes, but bacteria have only one.


They are single-celled organisms that comprise cells with distinct properties that make them unique from the other two domains of life namely Eukaryota and Bacteria.

They use numerous sources of energy and display a diverse array of chemical reactions in metabolism. Based on reactions they are categorized into nutritional groups. That is either dependent on carbon sources and energy.

One group of archaea uses sunlight as a source of energy. They are termed phototrophs. But any of these organisms do not possess oxygen-generating photosynthesis.

The other forms of archaea use inorganic compounds as a source of energy namely ammonia or sulphur. They either include anaerobic methane oxidizers, nitrifiers, and methanogens.

This reaction involves two compounds where one compound acts as an electron acceptor and the other as an electron donor. The energy that is released during the reaction releases ATP – adenosine triphosphate. It is one of the same basic processes that can be found in some of the eukaryotic cells.


They are single-celled organisms that usually live in a diverse environment. Bacterial DNA called the nucleoid is a twisted thread-like mass that flows free.

They even possess a cellular structure that executes a range of circular functions that involves the transfer of energy to the transportation of proteins. Bacteria consist of plasmids which are circular pieces of DNA.

Bacterial cells consist of the inner cell membrane and an outer cell wall. However, some of the bacterias do not possess cell walls such as mycoplasmas. In some cases, bacteria may consist of a third protective outer layer in a cell called a capsule.

Notable Distinctions Between Archaea and Bacteria

1. Both reproduce asexually. Archaea reproduces by the process of fragmentation, budding and binary fission. Moreover, eubacteria produce spores to stay latent for several years.

2. Pseudopeptidoglycan is the cell membrane in Archaea.  However, lipopolysaccharide or peptidoglycan is the cell membrane in bacteria.

3. Methanogenesis is the metabolism activity in Archaea.

4. Metabolic activities in bacteria include autotrophy, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, fermentation and photosynthesis.

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CSN Team.

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