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  • Last Modified 11-04-2024

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells


Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells: The cell is the smallest unit that can sustain life on its own and makes up all living things, including the body tissues. The cell membrane, the nucleus, and the cytoplasm are the three primary components of a cell. Cells come in a wide variety of forms.

The nucleus is a fundamental cell structure found in most live cells, but not all. Most of the cell’s DNA is housed and protected in the nucleus of a cell, a structure in the cytoplasm encircled by a membrane (the nuclear membrane). Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are the two basic types of cells, depending on whether they have a nucleus. In this article, we will discuss the two types of cells. 

Key Differences between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells

Before discussing each type of cell in detail, let us see the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in the table below:

Cell structureMulticellular, with a few being an exceptionUnicellular
Membrane-bound organellesPresentAbsent
Form of DNALinearCircular
Cell size10100 μm0.15 μm
ExamplesAnimals, plants, fungi, etc.Bacteria

Eukaryotic Cells

Cells with a nucleus are referred to be eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells are more frequently found in multicellular organisms and are typically bigger than prokaryotic cells. Eukaryotes, including fungi, mammals, protists, and plants, are organisms with eukaryotic cells.

In addition to the nucleus, eukaryotic cells also have other organelles. An organelle is a structure within the cytoplasm that serves a specialised purpose for the cell. For instance, vacuoles store substances in the cell, whereas organelles called mitochondria supply energy. Thanks to their organelles, eukaryotic cells can do more tasks than prokaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells can have more cell specificity than prokaryotic cells as a result. However, both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells have ribosomes, the biological components that produce proteins.

Features of Eukaryotic Cells

Each membrane-bound structure performs a particular biological function within a eukaryotic cell. Here is a summary of many of the basic elements found in eukaryotic cells.

  • Nucleus: The genetic data is kept in chromatin form in the nucleus.u
  • Nucleolus: Eukaryotic cells’ nucleolus, which is located inside the nucleus, is where ribosomal RNA is made.
  • Cell wall: Cell movement, cell division, and structure are all facilitated by the cytoskeleton or cell wall.
  • Plasma membrane: The organelles within the cell are enclosed by the plasma membrane, which is a phospholipid bilayer covering the whole cell.
  • Mitochondria: The creation of energy is carried out by mitochondria, also referred to as the cell’s powerhouses.
  • Ribosomes: Protein synthesis is carried out by ribosomes.
  • Cytoplasm: The area of a cell between the nuclear envelope and plasma membrane is known as the cytoplasm.
  • Cytosol: The organelles are located inside a gel-like substance called cytosol.
  • Endoplasmic reticulum: The endoplasmic reticulum is an organelle responsible for the maturation and transportation of proteins.
  • Vesicles and vacuoles: Membrane-bound sacs called vesicles and vacuoles are used for storage and movement.

Prokaryotic Cells

Cells without a nucleus are known as prokaryotic cells. Instead of being protected by a nuclear membrane, the DNA in prokaryotic cells is found in the cytoplasm. Single-celled creatures like bacteria contain prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotes are defined as organisms possessing prokaryotic cells. They were the first kind of organisms to evolve and continue to be the most prevalent ones.

Features of Prokaryotic Cells

Here is a set of different components of a prokaryotic bacterial cell:

  • Nucleoid: A part of the cell’s core where its DNA is located.
  • Ribosome: Protein synthesis is carried out by ribosomes.
  • Cell membrane: The cell membrane, sometimes called the plasma membrane, is present in every prokaryote and serves as a barrier between the cell and the outside world.
  • Cell wall: Most bacteria have a stiff cell wall formed of peptidoglycans, a combination of proteins and sugars.
  • Capsule: A coating of carbohydrates known as the capsule surrounds the cell wall in some bacteria.
  • Fimbriae: The bacterium may attach to surfaces thanks to the capsule. Fimbriae, which resemble tiny hairs, aid in cellular adhesion.
  • Pili: Pili are rod-shaped structures with various functions, including DNA transfer and adhesion.
  • Flagella: Flagella are tiny structures that resemble tails and help in mobility.

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