One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A microscopic single-celled organism which has neither a distinct nucleus with a membrane nor other specialized organelles, including the bacteria and cyanobacteria.Compare with eukaryote
- ‘Early fossils are all simple-celled prokaryotes such as bacteria and cyanobacteria.’
- ‘These proteins are expressed by all organisms ranging from prokaryotes to higher eukaryotes, including human cells.’
- ‘The difference between eukaryotes and prokaryotes is that eukaryotes have a nucleus, while prokaryotes do not.’
- ‘In a few organisms called prokaryotes, there is no defined nucleus and the DNA is found throughout the cell.’
- ‘Why are extragenic mutations evidently more common in viruses than in prokaryotes or eukaryotes?’
1960s: from pro- ‘before’ + Greek karuon ‘nut, kernel’ + -ote as in zygote.
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