prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells


  • Introduction                            
  • Parts and Characteristics
  • Comparison chart
  • Similarities
  • Major key differences
  • Conclusion

In the following content, we will be discussing the general nature, definitions, facts, characters, and differences and similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.


INTRODUCTION: (Definition and Facts)

prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells

Prokaryotes are derived from the Greek word in which the prefix PRO means primitive or old, whereas akaryotes mean nucleus, which evolved on earth millions of years ago. On the other hand, the word eukaryotes split into two words, in which EU means new or advanced, and akaryotes as the nucleus.

                  Based on the functions and structure, cells are categorized as prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells are simple and usually small in size, whereas eukaryotic cells have more complex parts and large structures; even the working of parts is also difficult to understand.

 In some microorganisms like bacteria, the nuclear region of the cell is partially defined due to the missing nuclear membrane within it. Such an irregular-defined nuclear region that consists of only nucleic acid or DNA molecule is known as the nucleoid. If we take a look overall at both the type of cells, eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, besides cell wall and plasma membrane, then ribosomes are the only part which shares the common relationship in between the cells, that too plays one of the major roles in the cells and are found in the cytoplasm.

 The major parts of prokaryotic cells include cytoplasm, cell wall, nucleoid, plasma membrane, and ribosomes. Cytoplasm further has many minor parts that perform different functions inside the cell actively; we will discuss each of them later on as we move ahead.                                             

Now let’s talk about the parts of eukaryotic cells. This consists of the plasma membrane, cytoplasm in which various cell organelles like endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, plastids, lysosomes, vacuoles, and Golgi apparatus are present.


prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells

Characteristics Of Prokaryotic Cells And Eukaryotic Cells


Brief structural details or characteristics of prokaryotic cells are as follows mention below:

Prokaryotic cells

prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells
  • CELL WALL: In most of the cells, the outer shell helps protects the cell from any causes that harm the cell. It lies outside the cell membrane and provides rigid support and shape to the cell. The cell wall of the plant cell is made up of the complex substance cellulose.


  • PLASMA MEMBRANE: As we discuss in the cell wall section, this is the outermost layer that comes after the cell wall that helps the cell enter and exit any molecular substance in the cell. The plasma membrane is made up of substance like and lipids and proteins which surrounds the cytoplasm.


  • CYTOPLASM: Cytoplasm includes fluid that floats inside the hollow space surrounded by a protective layer named cell membrane. It contains salts, enzymes, and various other organic substances in which all such organelles reside.


  • NUCLEOID: The location of DNA in prokaryotic cells is in the nucleoid. Its presence in the cytoplasm is indefinite, as the nuclear membrane is not there to give a definite shape.


  • GRANULES: Ribosomes bodies include in these granules and it also acts as the warehouse in which substance like glycogen, carbohydrates, fats, and phosphate is stored in the form of molecules. Moreover, granules are scattered in the cytoplasmic fluid.


  • FIMBRIAE: Fimbriae are a small hair-like structure. It helps in getting the surface to connect to the inner matrix of the cytoplasm and other parts so that the mating happens.


  • FLAGELLUM: These are the long structure that heals the cellular process and helps in FRO and the back movement of the prokaryotic cells.


  • GLUCOCALYX: This covering of the cell acts as the taker in the give and take relationship inside the cell, and this also provides an additional layer of protection to the cell wall, and it lies in between the cell wall and cell membrane.


While parts and characteristics of eukaryotic cells are as following:

Eukaryotic cells

prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells
  • ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM: The endoplasmic reticulum involves a large structure of bounded membrane tubes. The similarity between ER and plasma membrane is almost the same in terms of structure. There are two ER types, i.e., RER (rough endoplasmic reticulum) and SER (smooth endoplasmic reticulum), and both have separate functions to do.


  • MITOCHONDRIA: These are very indifferent cell organelle as they have their genetic material and ribosomes, which is why mitochondria can synthesize molecules in the form of lipids and proteins. They are also called by the term “powerhouse of the cell.”


  • LYSOSOMES: These are the cell organelles bounded with membranes and have sac-like structures filled with enzymes. Lysosomes act in a similar way as what an artificial kidney does to a human body. Moreover, they filtered the waste throughout the cell.


  • GOLGI APPARATUS: The Golgi apparatus is an important cell organelle present within the eukaryotic cells, which have diversified tasks. These organelles were first founded by the biologist Camillo Golgi, and the rest is history, i.e., how this organelle got its name.


  • VACUOLES: Vacuoles act as the storage container for various important fluid contents like sugar, protein, and some acids. The size of the plant cell and animal cell varies as plants cell are usually larger while the size of an animal cell is comparatively smaller.


  • PLASTIDS: Only the plant’s cell contained plastids. Colored plastids are known as chromoplasts. A green-colored pigment contained in chromoplast is called chloroplast, and this does play an important role in the process name photosynthesis, which plants are taking out to manufacture the food.


  • RIBOSOMES: Ribosomes are present in whole lot quantity entirely in the cell, but these are small particles that help in the synthesis and manufacturing of protein and other substances.


  • CYTOSKELETON: Cytoskeleton is a framework network of the cells that provide continuous linking of proteins into two terminology micros (filaments and tubules), which happens in the cytoplasm of the eukaryotic cells.



Compare And Contrast Prokaryotic And Eukaryotic Cells

prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells

Comparison chart: prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells

BasisProkaryotic cellsEukaryotic cells
OrganellesOrganelles are not membrane-bound to the nuclear regionOrganelles are membrane-bound to the nuclear membrane
Cell DivisionBinary fissionMitosis
Cell WallCell wall presentUsually, cell wall absent (except in plants and fungi)
Plasma MembranePresentPresent
Cell TypeUnicellularunicellular and multicellular both
Cell Size0.5-10um5-100um
Existence of Nucleusill-defined nucleusWell-defined nucleus
Endoplasmic ReticulumAbsentPresent
Lysosomes And PeroxisomesAbsentPresent
RibosomesSmall in sizeExtremely large
Golgi ApparatusAbsentPresent
Modes of ReproductionAsexualMostly sexual
ChloroplastsAbsent (scattered in the cytoplasm)Present
DNA StructureThe structure of DNA in prokaryotic cells is Circular and double-stranded.While it’s Linear and double-stranded in eukaryotic cells.
No. of ChromosomesOnly one (but not actual, plasmid though)More than one
ExamplesMicroorganisms like bacteria and fungiPlants and animals



Similarities Between Prokaryotic And Eukaryotic Cells

The following points states the relationship and similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells:

  • Prokaryotic cells are unicellular and eukaryotic cells are too unicellular but as per exception, they tend to exist as multicellular too, as they are present in large numbers.


  • If we talk about the shape and size of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, then the molecules of DNA are double-stranded in both types i.e., prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.


  • Also, one of the most common similarities is the presence of plasma membrane or what we call a cell membrane and the presence of cell wall but only for plants in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.


  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic, both the type of cell, also consist of vacuoles and vesicles. As the existence of these parts likely to be seen in the cell structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.


  • And both prokaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell possess the similar type of mode of reproduction which is asexual but the fact remain is eukaryotic cell also have the tendency to regenerates through a sexual process too mainly.

The Main Difference Between Prokaryotic And Eukaryotic Cells

prokaryotic cells vs eukaryotic cells

(Major key points)

The difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are as the following mention below:

  • Prokaryotes’ cell walls are comprised of substance named mucopeptide and peptidoglycan, while in terms of eukaryotes, mainly cell wall is absent.


  • The substantial difference between the two is that it is well defined and functional in eukaryotic cells but poorly defined in prokaryotic cells.


  • In prokaryotic cells, the transcription and translation cellular process occurs together, whereas it happens individually in eukaryotic cells as transcription happens in the nucleus and translation in the cytosol.


  • In prokaryotes, the division of cells takes place via various processes includes transformation and conjugation. On the other hand, it takes place through the cellular process of meiosis.


  • Moreover, various organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, Golgi apparatus are not present in prokaryotic cells but are present in eukaryotic cells.


  • Eukaryotes also differ from Prokaryotes as eukaryotic DNA molecule is found in membrane-bounded and arranged chromosomes. In contrast, the genetic material of DNA contains few loops of chromosomes in the nucleoid.


  • The prokaryotes are primitive, and these are the tiniest cells on earth with a size range of 0.5-5um. While its opposite in eukaryotes, these are the extremely large cells, i.e., from 5um-100um.


  • In a eukaryotic cell, a certain type of metabolic task is being done by chloroplasts and mitochondria, which seems to be taken from endosymbiotic bacteria; on the contrary, a similar kind of process revolves across the plasma membrane.



We conferred from what we learned above, i.e., the cell is the fundamental and functional unit of the life process and living beings. Moreover, both the kind of cells, namely prokaryotes and eukaryotes, have specified tasks and functions to do so that’s how they distinct from each other.

Leave a Reply