What is the difference between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells?
Both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells are types of cells that exist on the earth. These two key terms help to bring structural differences among cells.
In this lesson, you will discover the core difference between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Besides that, you will also learn about their similarities.
What Are Prokaryotic Cells?
Prokaryotic cells are those cells that lack nucleus and membranes to enclose the organelles. This implies that the DNA in prokaryotic cells is not encased within a membrane.
Examples of living things that are prokaryotes are bacteria and Archaea. Bacteria are single-cell while archaea are multicellular.
Here are some of the parts that are quite common in prokaryotic cells. They include:
- Cytoplasm: These are materials found inside a cell except the nucleus.
- Cell wall: The structure that surrounds the cell and offers maximum protection
- Nucleoid: The region where the genetic material of the cell is kept.
- Flagella and Pili: These are filaments made of proteins and they occur outside the prokaryotic cells.
- Plasmid: A small molecule of DNA in the cell that reproduces independently.
What Are Eukaryotic Cells?
Eukaryotic cells are those cells that have well-defined nucleus and organelles that perform different functions.
Examples of living things that have eukaryotic cells are algae, fungi, plants, protozoa, and animals. These organisms can either be a single cell or multicellular.
Some of the common organelles quite common in Eukaryotes include:
- Nucleus: The region where the genetic material of a cell is stored.
- Cytoplasm: The part where most cell organelles are located and also where metabolic activities of the cell are taking place.
- Chloroplast: Quite common in plants and algae. The region where sunlight energy is converted into food.
- Mitochondria: Responsible for making ATP
- Ribosomes: Responsible for protein synthesis
- Cytoskeleton: Offer maximum support to the cell.
Prokaryotic Vs Eukaryotic Cells Comparison Chart
|Basic Terms||Prokaryotic Cells||Eukaryotic Cells|
|Genetic Information||DNA found in the cytoplasm||DNA found in the nucleus|
|Organelles||Lack of nucleus and membrane-bound organelles||Have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.|
|Size||Tend to be small (0.5-3um)||Tend to be large (2-100um)|
|Cell Division||Binary fission||Mitosis|
|Number of Chromosomes||One strand||Several strands|
|Type of Cell||Single-cell||Multicellular|
|Chloroplast||Scattered in cytoplasm||Numerous in plants and algae|
|Mode of reproduction||Asexually||Sexual|
|Ribosomes||The 70s||The 80s|
|Presence of Nucleus||Have no well-defined nucleus||Have well-defined nucleus|
|Cell wall||Comprise of peptidoglycan or mucopeptide||Comprise of cellulose only present in plant cells and fungi cells.|
|Transcription and Translation||Occur all together||Translation occurs in the cytosol while transcription occurs in the nucleus|
|Plasma membrane with steroid||Absent||Presence|
|Nuclear membrane permeability||Not present||Quite selective|
|Example||Bacteria and archaea||Plants and animals|
Core Differences Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
- Prokaryotic cells are quite common in single-cell organisms while eukaryotic cells are quite common in multicellular organisms.
- Eukaryotic cells are quite modified and large in size while prokaryotic cells are primitive and small in size.
- Eukaryotic cells have well-defined organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, etc, unlike prokaryotic cells.
- Prokaryotic cells have no defined nucleus while eukaryotic cells have a well-defined nucleus.
- Cell division in eukaryotic cells occurs through mitosis while in prokaryotic through binary fission.
- Genetic materials in eukaryotic cells occur in linear and double-strand whereas in prokaryotic cells it occurs in circular and double-strand.
- Eukaryotic cells reproduce sexually while prokaryotic cells reproduction occur asexually.
- Prokaryotes are simple cells whereas eukaryotes are complex cells.
- Prokaryotic cells have continuous transcription and translation whereas eukaryotic cells experience the process of translation and transcription
- Prokaryotic cell regulatory mechanism of DNA is simple whereas eukaryotic cell regulatory mechanisms of DNA are complex
- Prokaryotic cell duration is about 20-60 minutes while eukaryotic cell duration highly varies up to 24 hours
- Eukaryotic cells have well-developed and advanced communication system whereas prokaryotic cells have an under-developed intracellular and extracellular communication system
- Eukaryotic cell have cytoplasmic movement whereas prokaryotic cell does not have cytoplasmic movement
- Nitrogen-fixing is present in prokaryotic cells and absent in eukaryotic cells
- Photosynthesis takes place in the membrane of the cytoplasm of prokaryotic cells whereas taking place in the chloroplast of eukaryotic cells
- Eukaryotic cells experience respiration in the mitochondria whereas prokaryotic respiration experience respiration in the mesosomes
- Eukaryotic cells have cytoskeleton whereas prokaryotic cells lack cytoskeleton
- Prokaryotic cells have plasmid whereas eukaryotic cells lack plasmid
- Prokaryotic cells have haploid organism whereas eukaryotic cells have diploid organisms
- Eukaryotic cells have well-developed internal membrane whereas prokaryotic cells have a scarce internal membrane
Similarities between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
- Both are microscopic and only visible through either a light or electron microscope.
- Both experience locomotion and chemotaxis
- Both cells have a nucleus
- Ribosomes are quite present in all cells
- Both have similar cytoplasm composition
- Both have cell wall for protection
- Both have the ability to reproduce
- Both experience photosynthesis
- ATP energy is present in both
- Both have 61 codons
You May Also Like:
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- Difference between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Translation
- Difference between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic DNA
A cell is a unit of life and it is responsible for biological activities taking place in a plant or animal. It doesn’t matter whether it is a prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell.
Prokaryotes are primitive cells with undefined nucleus while eukaryotes are modified cells with a well-developed nucleus.
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