Bacteria are incredibly tiny, but they play a huge role in life on Earth – including human life. Although many cause diseases like strep throat and tuberculosis, some, for example, live in the human gut to assist in digestion and fend off harmful bacteria. Others are important to the food chain, serving as food for smaller animals.
Whether they’re helpful or harmful, it is crucial to know the parts of a bacterial cell to understand how these tiny things work and affect the world around them.
Most parts of a bacterium are found in its capsule. The cell membrane and cell wall, forming the exterior of the cell, separate the bacterium’s insides from its environment. Many species have pili, which are small, hair-like growths on the outside to help stick to other surfaces. Some bacteria even have one or more large tails called flagella to aid in moving, finding food, and avoiding predators.
All bacteria are prokaryotes – they don’t have nuclei, instead storing DNA in a flimsy nucleoid. They also have ribosomes, which synthesize protein and helpful substances.
The parts of a bacterial cell diagram quiz online available here will enrich your knowledge of a bacterial cell’s structures, and how such a simple organism can feed, move, multiply, and interact with its environment.