Introduction to Prokaryotic Transcription and Translation

Outline the process of prokaryotic transcription and translation

The prokaryotes, which include bacteria and archaea, are mostly single-celled organisms that, by definition, lack membrane-bound nuclei and other organelles. A bacterial chromosome is a covalently closed circle that, unlike eukaryotic chromosomes, is not organized around histone proteins. The central region of the cell in which prokaryotic DNA resides is called the nucleoid. In addition, prokaryotes often have abundant plasmids, which are shorter circular DNA molecules that may only contain one or a few genes. Plasmids can be transferred independently of the bacterial chromosome during cell division and often carry traits such as antibiotic resistance. Because of these unique features, transcription and gene regulation is somewhat different between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic ones.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Understand the basic steps in the transcription of DNA into RNA in prokaryotic cells
  • Understand the basics of prokaryotic translation and how it differs from eukaryotic translation

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Prokaryotic Transcription
  • Prokaryotic Translation
  • Self Check: Prokaryotic Transcription and Translation


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