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 critical differences in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Feature Eukaryotics Prokaryotics
Age on Earth Recently evolved after billions of years of prokaryotes emerged Primitive and existed much earlier than eukaryotes
Size ranga of organismCells are < 5 µm and are larger with avg size of 10 to 100 microns in diameters Cells are smaller in ranges of 1-4 µm.
Nucleus Is present and with well defined nuclear membrane and chromosomes. Nucleus is absent but nuclear material like chromosomes are present.
Cell structure Is complex with many organelles and their arrangement Is quite simple with few organelles.
Reproduction time Reproduction is slow and prolonged Reproduction is very quick like in few minutes
ZygotePartial diploid (merozygoic)Diploid zygote
Cyoplasm behaviorCytoplasmic streaming presentStreaming of cytoplasm is absent.
PinocytosisIt is cell drinking process and is presentPinocytosis is absent
Cell organelles present Mitochondria, lysosomes, peroxisomes, microtubules, endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus are present All these organelles are absent in prokaryotes.
Chloroplasts These are cell organelles involved in photosynthesis. Chloroplasts are absent but chlorophyll pigment is present.
Cell wall Made of steroids, ligninspectin etc. Made of Peptidoglycan
Ribosomes 80S ribosome with two parts are 60S and 40S are present 70S ribosome with two parts as 50S and 30S are present.
Gas vacuolesAbsentPresent
DNA structure Double stranded helical DNA Single stranded DNA.
ChromosomesHistones presentHistones absent
Examples All protozoa, animals and plant cells Bacteria 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.

For instance, 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 rfveticulum. 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 the tricarboxylic acid cycle are found in the cytoplasm.

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