What Are the General Characteristics of Monerans?

By David Harris
Bacteria have various nutritional means.
bacteria image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com

Monera is one of the five biological kingdoms, the others being animals, plants, protists and fungi. All organisms that fall into the Moneran kingdom are considered prokaryotes, the most simple and earliest forms of life on the planet. Like all other kingdoms, members of the Monera kingdom have specific characteristics that define them. Bacteria are part of the Moneran kingdom.

No Nucleus

All members of the kingdom Monera have no nuclei in their cells. All genetic material in moneran cells floats loose in the cytoplasm. In fact, the only parts of the cell that exist in a moneran are the cell wall and the ribosomes. Moneran cell walls are made of peptidoglycan. This is the case for all monerans except for archaebacteria. Monerans also move about using flagella.

Digestion

Monerans digest their food outside of the cell and then absorb the nutrients. Different monerans, however, digest their food in a variety of ways. Some simply generate their own food by making their organic compounds. Others need to feed off of other organic matter, such as decaying material. Some monerans are parasites that feed off of a host and others create a symbiotic relationship with another organism. According to Thinkquest.com, monerans are separated into different classifications by how they feed.

Other Characteristics

Monerans reproduce by both sexual conjugation or asexual binary fission. Circulation is done by diffusion, which is similar to the way they digest. Monerans all breathe differently. Some cannot survive without oxygen while some die if exposed to oxygen. Monerans come in three different shapes: spiral, rod-shaped or spherical. In order to protect themselves, most Monerans are surrounded by a capsule of polysaccharides that keeps them from drying out and acts as protection against other harmful cells.

About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.