5 Differences Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells differ in many ways, yet they also have several things in common, such the following: DNA: The genetic material that codes all of a living thing’s traits. Cell (or plasma) membrane: outer layer that isolates the cell from its surroundings and serves as a picky barrier for items entering and leaving the cell.
A cell’s cytoplasm is a jelly-like fluid mostly made up of water, ions, and proteins.
Ribosomes: Protein-producing organelles.
The differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are not always as apparent as they may seem. For example, eukaryotic cells have cytoplasmic projections, while prokaryotic cells do not have a cell wall, nucleus, or membrane.
Top 5 Differences Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
1. Prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus or nuclear membrane; eukaryotic cells have them.
2. Similar to the first difference, prokaryotes are also unicellular, while eukaryotes are multicellular organisms.
3. Prokaryotes have cell walls constructed from peptidoglycan and eukaryotes do not.
4. Eukaryotes contain mitochondria organelles (powerhouses of the cell) and prokaryotes lack these organelles for generating energy for the cell’s survival needs; instead, they use other means such as fermentation to generate energy for themselves.
5. Eukaryotes have a cytoskeleton, while prokaryotes do not.
Eukaryotic Cells have Cytoplasmic Projections
Many eukaryotic cells have cytosymbiotic plastids, which contain their DNA. The plastids produce organic compounds via photosynthesis. Some groups are closely related to each other, while others are not. Some groups obtained their plastids through secondary endosymbiosis. Kleptoplasty is the process of sequestering photosynthetic cells.
Eukaryotic cells differ in shape but have similar cell organelles. Both have membrane-bound organelles and circular DNA. The nucleus of eukaryotic cells contains a genome composed of DNA molecules arranged in chromosomes. The cytoplasm contains nucleolus and proteins. The cytoplasm is composed of many types of organelles, including organelles that are inside the cell.
The cell wall is the outer covering of the cell and serves as the cellular structure. The cell membrane consists of a phospholipid bilayer with integral proteins embedded between two layers. The cell membranes of both eukaryotes and prokaryotes have similar compositions. The cytoplasm is the fluid-filled space inside the cell. It contains cytosol, which is jelly-like, and water-soluble solutions.
Both flagella and cilia are cytoplasmic projections but have slightly different functions. Flagella are used for locomotion, while cilia are used to ingest particles. The structure of the cell determines whether or not it forms pseudopodia. As a result, amoebae have pseudopodia. They may also form filopodia, reticulopodia, or lamellipodia.
The cellular structure and function of each organism depend on its species. For example, some eukaryotic cells have a large vacuole in the cytoplasm, which maintains turgor pressure in the cell. In plants, chloroplasts play an essential role in photosynthesis. On the other hand, animal cells do not have a rigid cell wall. This helps them acquire different shapes and assists in phagocytosis.
Archaea and bacteria have a membrane-bound cytoplasm. Prokaryotic cells have a membrane-less structure called the nucleoid. The cytoplasm contains essential molecules and minerals. In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm also contains chromosomes and ribosomes. Among prokaryotes, Vibrio cholerae has two circular chromosomes.
They Lack a Membrane-bound Nucleus
In prokaryotes, there are no solid nuclei, whereas, in eukaryotes, the genetic material is located within the nucleus. Prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus, but they have chloroplasts and mitochondria that perform metabolic processes. Both mitochondria and chloroplasts were derived from endosymbiotic bacteria, found in only a tiny percentage of prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells have different cell walls and are generally smaller than eukaryotic cells.
Prokaryotic cells are small and have no membrane-bound organelles like a nucleus. In addition, they contain DNA, ribosomes, cytoplasm, and a cell wall. Eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus and a cell wall, while prokaryotes have no organelles.
In addition to the nucleus, prokaryotic cells are missing mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, chloroplasts, and Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, they are characterized by their lack of membrane-bound organelles, allowing them to survive in highly hostile environments. These characteristics make prokaryotes one of Earth’s most common forms of life.
The first cell had a self-replicating RNA enclosed in a membrane. Phospholipids are the essential components of biological membranes, including prokaryotic plasma membranes. They are long hydrocarbon chains with water-soluble head groups and contain phosphate. This gives prokaryotes the ability to replicate and produce DNA.
Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms have a nucleus. Eukaryotic cells contain a nucleus, while prokaryotes do not. They both contain a nucleoid region. Despite lacking a membrane-bound nucleus, they have numerous other organelles in their cytoplasm.
Besides the nucleus, all living organisms can be divided into two groups based on their cellular structure. Prokaryotes are single-celled organisms belonging to the Bacteria and Archaea domains. Prokaryotes are the simplest and oldest of cells. However, they are not the only eukaryotes.
They Lack a Nucleus
Prokaryotic cells are single-celled organisms with free-floating genetic material, while eukaryotic cells contain a distinct nucleus and cellular membrane. All living things can be classified into three main domains, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes. Prokaryotes are the smallest and most primitive cells, with fossil records dating back 3.5 billion years.
Eukaryotic cells contain a nucleus that stores DNA and a selectively permeable membrane surrounds it. This membrane protects the DNA and fine-tunes protein production. Similarly, prokaryotic cells contain several specialized organelles, including mitochondria that generate energy and lysosomes that remove waste. Prokaryotic cells also contain pili, adhesive hairlike projections that serve as genetic exchanges during conjugation.
Organelles are also different between the two types of cells. In eukaryotes, organelles are housed inside membrane-bound structures. Organelles, including the ribosomes, serve as specialized components. Organelles are necessary for a variety of processes within a cell. They help regulate the cell’s metabolism and are located in the cytoplasm. Despite these differences, the eukaryotes’ organelles are pretty similar to their prokaryotic counterparts.
Both cells have membranes separating their molecular machinery from the surrounding environment. Prokaryotic cells contain DNA bundled in the nucleoid region. In addition, both types of cells contain DNA and RNA, which code for genes. However, prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus and organelles, while eukaryotic cells have a nucleus and organelles within the cell membrane.
A few similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells can make it difficult to distinguish the two types. Both cells have organelles within their membranes, but their ribosomes are smaller and more straightforward than eukaryotes. The ribosomes within the eukaryotic cell’s membrane have a function. They are also used in competitive exams.
The most significant internal structure of prokaryotic cells is a ribosome. Prokaryotes have different-sized ribosomes that help in protein synthesis. Both types of cells also contain a plasma membrane. This membrane is responsible for separating the interior contents of the cell from the outside environment. Finally, both types of cells contain chromosomes and ribosomes, which are the most critical components of the cell.
They Lack a Cell Wall
A primary difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells is the number of genes in each type. Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus surrounded by two lipid membranes. Prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus but contain a membrane-bound region called the nucleoid. These cells can contain either RNA or DNA.
Prokaryotic cells do not have cell walls, but eukaryotic cells do. They may have evolved from prokaryotic cells. For example, the cell wall of a eukaryotic plant is mainly made of cellulose. On the other hand, the cell wall of a prokaryotic bacterium is composed of peptidoglycans. Eukaryotic cells also have organelles like ribosomes and DNA.
The difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells starts with their cell shape. Prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus and transcribe genes in the cytoplasm. In contrast, eukaryotic cells have a nucleus and an inner membrane called the mitochondria. In addition, prokaryotes do not have a cytoskeleton and lack an inner membrane called the mitochondria. Eukaryotic cells also possess a mitochondrial matrix and a nuclear membrane. Furthermore, they perform binary fission and conjugation, while eukaryotic cells undergo mitosis and karyogenesis.
The cell wall of prokaryotic cells is tough and protective. For example, archaeal cells have pseudopeptidoglycan cell walls. Cell walls give the cells their shape and protect the organelles inside the cytoplasm. They are also made of a phospholipid, a bilayer of hydrophilic fatty acid and glycerol that forms a porous film.
Archaea and eukaryotic cells have cell membranes that serve as their outermost covering. Both cell membranes contain a membrane that protects them and transports essential molecules. In addition, eukaryotic cells contain cytoplasm, the entire space inside the cell membrane. The cytoplasm also contains essential molecules and minerals that the cell needs to function. They also contain chromosomes and ribosomes.
Prokaryotes have no nucleus and lack membrane-bound organelles. They are generally unicellular, but they may be multicellular. On the other hand, eukaryotes reproduce asexually, which means that offspring are exact replicas of the parent. Prokaryotes are smaller and more complex than eukaryotes. Eukaryotes also include plants, fungi, and animals, although the latter are not classified in the kingdom monera.