Difference between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Difference between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes


  • In 1674 the classification of microbes was started with the invention of light microscope.
  • Today it is a discipline which is based on the increasingly complex criteria.
  • The first phylogenetic trees of life was constructed on the concept of just two kingdom’s: Plantae and Animalia.
  • A German naturalist Ernest Haeckel in 1844 proposed that the bacteria, algae, Fungi and protozoa that lacks the tissue differentiation and be separated in a third kingdom protista and removed from the plant and animal kingdom’s.
  • Prokaryotic cells are very simple, small in sizes however eukaryotic cells are very complicated, little larger structure and are present in trillions which might be single celled or multicellular.

This resulted within the division of those organisms into two groups:

  1. Prokaryotic cells.
  2. Eukaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic cells

  • Prokaryotic: pro- “old” and karyon- “nucleus”.
  • This type of cells does not have nucleus.
  • Most primitive type of cells.
  • There are important to mankind in many aspects like they are utilized in fermentation research works, etc.

prokaryotic bacterial cell

Generalised structure of prokaryotic cell consists of the following:

  1. Glycocalyx
  2. Nucleoid
  3. Cell wall
  4. Pilus
  5. Mesosome
  6. Flagellum
  7. Fimbrie
  8. Granules
  9. Ribosomes
  10. Cell membrane
  11. Endospores

Eukaryotic cell

  • Eukaryotic: Eu- New, karyon- Nucleus.
  • It is a type of cell which have a defined nucleus.
  • It is advanced type of cells evolved from prokaryotic cell.

Eukaryotic bacterial cell

The general structure of eukaryotic cells is:

  1. Nucleus
  2. Cytoplasm
    • Mitochondria
    • Chloroplast
    • Golgi apparatus
    • Endoplasmic reticulum
  3. Appendages
  4. Surface structure
  5. Cell wall
  6. Cytoplasmic membrane
  7. Ribosome
  8. Cytoskeleton
Features Prokaryotic cells Eukaryotic cells
Example Bacteria Algae, fungi, protozoa, plants and animals
Size range 1-2 by 1-4 micrometers or less More than 5 micrometers in width or diameter
Nature of cell Unicellular Multicellular
Genetic system location Nucleoid, Chromatin body , or nuclear material Nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplast
Nucleus (structure) Not bounded by nuclear membrane Membrane bound
Nucleolus Absent Present
Histone Protein Absent Present
Sexual reproduction Zygote nature is merozygotic (partial diploid) Zygote is diploid
Cell division Binary fission Mitosis
Cytoplasmic streaming Absent Present
Pinocytosis Absent Present
Gas vacuoles Can be present Absent
Mesosome Present Absent
Ribosome 70s , distributed in the cytoplasm 80s, in endoplasmic; 70s, in mitochondria and Chloroplast
Mitochondria Absent Present
Chloroplast Absent May be present
Golgi structure Absent Present
Endoplasmic reticulum Absent Present
Membrane – bound (True vacuoles) Absent Present
Cytoplasmic membrane Sterols is absent: carry out respiratory and photosynthesis Sterols present: do not carry out respiration and photosynthesis.
Cell wall Present, usually made up of Peptidoglycan (Murein or mucopeptide) Only in plant cells and fungi.
Locomotor organelles Simple fibril Multi fibrilled with “9+2” microtubules
Pseudopodia Absent Present in some
DNA base ratios as moles% of guanine + cytosin (G+C)% 28-73 About 40
Shape of DNA Circular Linear
Transcription and translation Occurs together Transcription in nucleus & Translation in cytoplasm

Reference and Sources

  • 1% – https://textarchive.ru/c-1198745-pall.html
  • 1% – https://coolgyan.org/biology/prokaryotic-and-eukaryotic-cells/index.htm
  • 1% – https://bio.libretexts.org/Courses/Manchester_Community_College_(MCC)/The_Introduct
  • 2% – https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prakash_Bisen/publication/263806602_Handbook_
  • 1% – https://microbiologynotes.com/differences-between-prokaryotic-and-eukaryotic-cells/
  • 1% – https://microbeonline.com/differences-prokaryotic-eucaryotic-cells/

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Difference between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

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