The prokaryotes, a kingdom of primitive microbial organisms characterized by having no defined nucleus or chromosomes; DNA that is not membrane bound; and absence of centrioles, mitotic spindle, microtubules, and mitochondria; division of the ill-defined nuclear zone (nucleoid) is by separation of two masses attached to parts of the cell membrane, then growing apart (a form of amitosis). Monera includes the blue-green algae and bacteria; viruses, which lack a true cell, may have originated as “escaped nucleic acids” or “wild genes” from eukaryotic cells and are not included.
[pl. of Mod. L. moneron, fr. G. moneres, solitary]
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