The 12 differences between the eukaryotic cell and the prokaryotic cell

The cell is the smallest unit of life, And is a key element in defining us as living beings. Because its size is so small, it was only discovered when the microscope was invented.

It was from the 19th and 20th centuries that he developed the cell theory, which explains that the cell is the structural unit of living things and declares that all living things are made up of one or more cells. It is also considered a functional unit, as it performs all the vital functions (nutrition, relationship and reproduction). Likewise, the cell is the genetic unit, which contains the hereditary material and they all come from another pre-existing cell.

In this article you can find the main explained differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

    Different types of cells

    Therefore, a cell can be defined as the structural, functional and genetic unit of all living things and can be classified in different ways. Mainly in prokaryotic (or prokaryotic) and eukaryotic (or eukaryotic) cells. The latter, in turn, can be classified into animal and plant cells, although protozoa, algae and fungi are also eukaryotic organisms.

    The two major groups of cells (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) have similarities and differences. The former are single-celled organisms, which do not have a definite or true cell nucleus and in which DNA is scattered throughout the cytoplasm. It’s the bacteria. Eukaryotes are organisms composed of cells that have a true nucleus, bounded in a lipid bilayer and with an organized cytoplasm.

      Similarities Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

      Although prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are different in many ways, they also have some similarities. Both contain genetic material, i.e. DNA. They have a cell membrane that covers them. Their basic chemical structures are similarAs both are made up of carbohydrates, protein, nucleic acid, minerals, fats and vitamins.

      Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells they contain ribosomes, which produce proteins. Both types of cells regulate the flow of nutrients and waste matter that enters and leaves cells. They also reproduce, although in different ways. They need energy to survive, they contain cytoplasm inside cells and a cytoskeleton. Both classes of cells have a lipid bilayer, known as the plasma membrane, which forms the border between the inner and outer sides of the cell.

      Differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

      There are also some differences between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Scientists believe that eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotic cells.

      But what are these differences? In the following lines, we explain them to you.

      1. Core

      While eukaryotic cells have a well-defined nucleus, prokaryotes do not. Genetic information is stored in the nucleus of eukaryotes.

      2. Origin

      It is estimated that prokaryotic cells appeared around 3.7 billion years ago, while eukaryotic cells are 2000 million years old.

      3. Size

      Prokaryotic cells are smaller: 0.1-5.0 μm in diameter. Large eukaryotes: 10-100 μm in diameter.

      4. Cell organization

      Prokaryotic cells are generally single-celled, while eukaryotes are multicellular.

      5. Genetic material

      The genetic material of eukaryotes is stored in the nucleus; but, in the case of prokaryotic cells, it is dispersed throughout the cytoplasm. The DNA of prokaryotic cells does not associate with histones.

      6. Composition of the plasma membrane

      In eukaryotic cells, plasma membranes contain sterols. In the case of prokaryotic cells, only in mycoplasmas.

      7. Form of genetic material

      In prokaryotic cells, DNA is circular. However, when it comes to eukaryotic cells, DNA is linear and, as noted above, is associated with histone proteins.

      8. Number of chromosomes

      Prokaryotic cells have a single chromosome. However, eukaryotic cells they have several chromosomes.

      9. Plasma membrane

      In prokaryotic cells, the plasma membrane is made up of peptidoglycan or murein. In the case of eukaryotes, it is composed of phospholipids.

      10. Organize them

      Prokaryotic cells gift an internal matrix with non-membranous organelles. Prokaryotic cells have membranous organelles in the cytoplasm (eg, the Golgi apparatus).

      11. Reproduction

      Reproduction in prokaryotic cells occurs through asexual reproduction, by binary fission. In contrast, in eukaryotic cells, reproduction occurs by mitosis and meiosis.

      12. Living organisms

      Prokaryotic cells are bacteria, While prokaryotic cells are part of animals, plants, fungi, protozoa and algae.

      Differences between animal and plant cells

      In the different types of eukaryotic cells, we can find animal and plant cells which, although they have some similarities, are also different in some respects.

      As for shared featuresBoth have a well-defined nucleus, where DNA is housed. They also carry out similar production processes, in which mitosis and meiosis are included. Cellular respiration is necessary for energy, and they share certain cellular components (Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, etc.).

      As for the differences, plant cells they store energy in the form of starch, While animal cells do so in the form of glycogen. The former are generally larger than the latter and are generally rectangular in shape. Although both have a cell membrane, the cell wall is only found in plant cells, algae, archeobacteria, and fungi. Plant cells are able to synthesize all essential amino acids, which is not the case with animal cells.

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