Difference Between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells

The difference between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells are given in the table form below.

As you might have known before, a cell is the basic unit of life.

These cells are classified as the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic cells are considered as the primitive ones while the eukaryotic cells are the advanced type.

The key difference between these two exists in the nucleus and its content.

Difference Between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells

Eukaryotic cells have a distinct nucleus and mitochondria. But prokaryotic cells do not have these two.

However, these cells also differ mainly in terms of both the anatomical and physiological features.

The names pro=before (early) karyotic (nucleus) and Eu=True (current) karyotic (nucleus).

Interestingly, prokaryotes are seen among the plants and microorganisms, but eukaryotes are present in both plants and animals.

Below are the key differences in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

FeatureEukaryoticsProkaryotics
Age on EarthRecently evolved after billions of years of prokaryotes emergedPrimitive and existed much earlier than eukaryotes
SizeCells are big and large with avg size of 10 to 100 microns in diametesCells are very small than eukaryotics with avg size of 1-10 microns
NucleusIs present and with well defined nuclear membrane and chromosomes.Nucleus is absent but nuclear material like chromosomes are present.
Cell structureIs complex with many organelles and their arrangementIs quite simple with few organelles.
Reproduction timeReproduction is slow and prolongedReproduction is very quick like in few minutes
Cell organelles presentMitochondria, lysosomes, peroxisomes, microtubules, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus are presentAll these organelles are absent in prokaryotes.
ChloroplastsThese are cell organelles involved in photosynthesis.Chloroplasts are absent but chlorophyll pigment is present.
Cell wallMade of steroids, ligninspectin etc.Made of polysaccharides
Ribosomes80S ribosome with two parts are 60S and 40S are present70S ribosome with two parts as 50S and 30S are present.
DNA structureDouble stranded helical DNASingle stranded DNA.
ExamplesAll animal and plant cellsBacteria and few algae.

Besides the above, few differences also exist in enzymes and other biomolecules. The enzymes involved in the induction of negative supercoils during cell division are different. In prokaryotes, these enzymes are called as DNA gyrases. While in eukaryotes the same function is done by the enzyme DNA topoisomerases.

Physiological Difference Between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells

Also during protein synthesis, the mRNA is formed first in the nucleus and comes out and lies over the endoplasmic reticulum. Then the protein synthesis or translation starts. So, the process of transcription and translation occurs at different times in eukaryotes.

But, in prokaryotes, both the transcription and translation occur simultaneously.

The cell energy is produced in the form of ATP by the mitochondria in eukaryotes. This production occurs by a process called oxidative phosphorylation in between the membranes of mitochondria. However, as discussed earlier mitochondria are absent in prokaryotes. Hence, this oxidative phosphorylation occurs in the cytoplasmic membrane.The electron transport proteins are located in the plasma membrane. While the enzymes for tricarboxylic acid cycle are found in the cytoplasm.

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