How Do Archaebacteria Move?

Archaebacteria move by using a form of flagellum to propel themselves. This structure vaguely resembles a tail coming off the organism, and an archaebacterium rotates it rapidly, like a boat propeller, to move.

Although the flagella of archaebacteria resembles that of typical bacteria, their flagella actually have a quite distinct structure and a unique evolutionary history. As a result, some scientists advocate a separate name for the appendage on archaebacteria: an archaellum. Both flagella and archaella operate through rotation that moves the organism forward, leading to the original conflation of the two structures. However, in 2013, an international group of scientists showed that the two structures have different genetic origins, with archaella arising from the protein FlaI.

Although the term achaebacteria is often used, these organisms are distinct from bacteria. The more standard term is "archaea." These two organisms have many structural similarities: both lack a true nucleus, have only a single DNA molecule and have rigid cell walls. However, archaea possess a separate chemical structure from bacteria, and they evolved independently.

Archaea get their energy by feeding on a variety of inorganic substances, including sulfur, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Additionally, archaea synthesize energy using sunlight. However, the process by which archaea turn sunlight into energy is distinct from photosynthesis in plants. Archaea conduct bacteriorhodopsin, a process that allows them to form the basis of a separate energy chain from that used by plants and animals.