Akaryocytes, also known as akaryotes or acaryotes, are cells without a nucleus. The name is derived from the Greek prefix "a-", meaning "without" and the Greek "karyo-", meaning "nut" or "kernel".


Akaryotes come in many different forms. Overall, there are four main types of akaryocytes discovered:  Erythrocytes, commonly known as red blood cells, are concave-shaped cells responsible for gas exchange, and the transfer of nutrients throughout an organism. Red blood cells are classified as akaryocytes because they lack a cell nucleus after they have fully developed. The most common types of akaryocytes are bacteria, and archaea. Bacteria and archaea are unicellular organisms that lack organelles–specifically, a nucleus. They lack nuclei but contain other organelles that assist with the replication processes. Viruses are sometimes considered akaryocytes but the suffix "cyte" means cells. Akaryote is also used as a synonym for akaryocyte however 'ote" implies a taxonomic relationship that does not exist among akaryocytes.


Akaryotes play a special role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Bacteria and archaea, specifically, have contributed to the stability of ecological sciences. A crucial process both bacteria and archaea are involved in is nitrification–the oxidation of ammonia, which contributes to healthier agricultural ecosystems, thus, areas containing mainly soil.


  1. ^ a b Harish, Ajith; Kurland, Charles G. (July 2017). "Akaryotes and Eukaryotes are independent descendants of a universal common ancestor". Biochimie. 138: 168–183. doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2017.04.013. PMID 28461155.
  2. ^ Gubry-Rangin, Cécile; Nicol, Graeme W.; Prosser, James I. (December 2010). "Archaea rather than bacteria control nitrification in two agricultural acidic soils: Archaeal nitrification in acidic soils". FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 74 (3): 566–574. doi:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00971.x. PMID 21039653.
  3. ^ "Prokaryotes: Bacteria & Archaea". Organismal Biology.
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