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What is the difference between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

Apr 12, 2018 12:54 IST
    Difference between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

    Cells are also known as 'a small room'. It is the functional and structural unit of life. It is a small united area where all kinds of actions and reactions collectively take place.

    Organisms that are made up of single cell are known as single-celled organisms or unicellular and from many cells are known as multi-cellular organisms. In 1665, the cell was first discovered by Robert Hook.

    When scientists studied cells of various living organisms from an electron microscope, it was found that many organisms have no distinct nucleus surrounded by cell membrane.

    Thus, two types of cells are found in the organisms: eukaryotic and prokaryotic depending on whether cells contain membrane-bound organelles or not. Their genetic materials are enclosed by a nuclear envelope or not. Let us study through this article about the difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell.
    What are Prokaryotes?
    According to the morphological point of view, prokaryotic cells are the most primitive cells. They do not have definite nucleus which includes bacteria and cyanobacteria (blue green algae). The chromatin bodies remain scattered inside the cytoplasm. In prokaryotes asexual division occurs, basically binary fission. Prokaryotes are smaller than eukaryotes. Do you know that the nucleus which does not have a nuclear membrane is known as nucleoid?

    Structure of Plant and Animal Cell
    What are Eukaryotes?
    It is believed that eukaryotes have been evolved from the prokaryotes. They have been characterised by their membrane nucleus. They contain organelles like mitochondria bounded by membranes and are located in the cytoplasm. That is they contain a definite nucleus. The chromatin bodies are enclosed by a nuclear membrane. Both asexual and sexual division occur in eukaryotes. They are larger than prokaryotes and show better structural organisation and increased functional efficiency than prokaryotes.
    Now let us study the difference between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

    Prokaryotic Cell

    Eukaryotic cell

    Size is 0.1- 5.0 um

    Size is 5-100 um

    Nucleus is absent

    Nucleus is present

    Membrane bound nucleus absent.

    Membrane bound Nucleus is present.

    One chromosome is present, but not true chromosome plastids

    More than one number of chromosomes is present.



    Lysosomes and Peroxisomes absent

    Lysosomes and Peroxisomes present

    Microtubules absent

    Microtubules present

    Endoplasmic reticulum absent

    Endoplasmic reticulum present

    Mitochondria absent

    Mitochondria present

    Cytoskeleton absent

    Cytoskeleton present

    Ribosomes smaller

    Ribosomes larger

    Vesicles present

    Vesicles present

    Golgi apparatus absent

    Golgi apparatus present

    Chloroplasts absent; chlorophyll scattered in the cytoplasm

    Chloroplasts present in plants

    Submicroscopic in size Flagella is present made up of only one fibre

    Microscopic in size, membrane bound

    Cell wall chemically complexed

    Cell wall is present in plants and fungi and chemically simpler

    Vacuoles absent

    Vacuoles absent

    Permeability of Nuclear membrane is not present

    Permeability of Nuclear membrane is selective

    Sexual reproduction is absent

    Sexual reproduction is present

    Endocytosis and exocytosis are absent.

    Endocytosis and exocytosis occurred

    It may have pili and fimbriae.

    Pili and fimbriae are absent

    Transcription occurs in the cytoplasm

    Transcription occurs inside the nucleus.

    General Knoledge eBook

    Therefore, we can say that on the basis of genetic materials are enclosed by a nuclear envelope or not, cells are divided into prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Prokaryotes don’t have membrane bound organelles where as eukaryotes have.

    What do you mean by Evolution?

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