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The 12 differences between eukaryotic cell and prokaryotic cell

The 12 differences between eukaryotic cell and prokaryotic cell

June 24, 2024

The cell is the smallest unit of life , and is a fundamental component to define us as living beings. Since its size is so small, it was not discovered until the microscope was invented.

It is from the nineteenth and twentieth that develops the cell theory, which explains that the cell is the structural unit of living beings and states that all living beings are made up of one or more cells. It is also considered a functional unit, since it carries out all the vital functions (nutrition, relation and reproduction). Likewise, the cell is the genetic unit, which contains the hereditary material and all come from another preexisting cell.

In this article you can find the main ones explained Differences that exist between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells .

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Different types of cells

Therefore, a cell can be defined as the structural, functional and genetic unit of all living beings, 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 also protozoa, algae and fungi are eukaryotic organisms .

The two large groups of cells (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) have similarities and differences. The first are unicellular organisms, which lack a defined or true cell nucleus and in which the DNA is dispersed through the cytoplasm . It's the bacteria. Eukaryotes are organisms composed of cells that have a true nucleus, delimited within a double lipid layer, and organized cytoplasm.

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Similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

While prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are different in many ways, they also have certain similarities. Both contain genetic material, that is, DNA. They have a cell membrane that covers them. Their basic chemical structures are similar , because both are composed of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acid, minerals, fats and vitamins.

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

Differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

There are also certain 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 within the nucleus of eukaryotes .

2. Origin

It is estimated that prokaryotic cells have their origin around 3700 million years, instead, eukaryotic cells 2000 million years.

3. Size

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

4. Cell organization

Prokaryotic cells are usually unicellular, whereas multicellular eukaryotes.

5. Genetic material

The genetic material of eukaryotes is stored in the nucleus; however, in the case of prokaryotic cells, it is dispersed throughout the cytoplasm. The DNA of prokaryotic cells are not associated 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, the DNA is circular. Now, when it comes to eukaryotic cells, the DNA is linear and, as previously mentioned, it is associated with histone proteins.

8. Number of chromosomes

Prokaryotic cells have a single chromosome. However, eukaryotic cells present multiple chromosomes .

9. Plasmatic membrane

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

10. Organielos

Prokaryotic cells present an inner matrix with non-membranous organelles . Prokaryotic cells present membranous organelles in the cytoplasm (eg, Golgi apparatuses).

11. Reproduction

Reproduction in prokaryotic cells occurs by 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

Within the different types of eukaryotic cells we can find animal and vegetable cells, which although they show some similarities, are also different in some aspects.

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

In reference to the differences, plant cells store energy in the form of starch , while the animal cells do so in the form of glycogen. The first tend to be larger than the second, and usually have a rectangular shape. While both have a cell membrane, the cell wall is only present in plant cells, algae, archaea and fungi. The cells of plants are able to synthesize all the essential amino acids, something that does not happen with animal cells.

Prokaryotic vs. Eukaryotic Cells (Updated) (June 2024).

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