Is The Concept Of Prokaryotic Valid And Useful Or Fundamentally Flawed?

1829 Words Oct 27th, 2014 8 Pages
Is the concept of prokaryotes valid and useful or fundamentally flawed?

Since the establishment of the basic concept of classification of organisms by Carl Linnaeus (Encyclopaedia Britannica) and Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, various ideas and concepts have been suggested. After being repeatedly reviewed by a number of experts, some of them are accepted and this has enabled scientists to classify organisms, to recognise the connections between them despite of different physical appearance and to improve the understanding of evolutionary relationship between them. However, as time goes by and technology develops, the unknown aspects of organisms are being discovered and it arises several controversial points regarding the concepts
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In contrast, eukaryotes have membrane-bounded organelles inside the cells so that in each organelle, an optimal condition for reaction can occur. Indeed, this seems to be the most commonly known principle of determining prokaryotes until today. Secondly, they reproduce by different mechanisms. Unlike eukaryotes that undergo mitosis and meiosis, prokaryotes reproduce by binary fission. By having various mechanism of reproduction, a distinctive boundary line between prokaryotes and eukaryotes was established. Lastly, the existence of cell wall determines the concept. In prokaryotic cells, cell walls containing certain peptidoglycan whereas majority of eukaryotic cells, excluding plant cells, do not have cell walls. (Stanier & van Niel, 1962)

Before the introduction of the domains eukaryotes and prokaryotes, organisms were divided into two small groups of bacteria and blue-green algae and they were recognised as independent major groups. Today, the term ‘prokaryote’ is widely used in school and university textbooks, despite arising evidences and theories that explain the flaws of the concept. It was introduced first by a French protistologist, Edouard Chatton in 1937 and reintroduced by Stanier and van Niel later on. But it was André Lwoff who suggested using the terms prokaryotes and eukaryotes in taxonomy. (Sapp, 2006) The
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