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Bacterial structure: essential features

Bacteria have several essential features. These features are found in nearly all bacteria.

  • Cell wall (often made from peptidoglycan)
  • Cell membrane
  • Cytoplasm and Cytoskeleton
  • Nuclear body (nucleoid)

The nuclear body consists of a single circular chromosome, which is not enclosed in a membrane.

The chromosome typically consists of about 4000 genes. This is larger than a viral genome, but smaller than the genome of a eukaryotic cell.

Typical Gram-positive bacterial cell
Typical Gram-positive bacterial cell