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Difference Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

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  • Last Updated : 15 Mar, 2023
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Cells are classified into prokaryotic (primitive cell) and eukaryotic cells on the basis of the nucleus. Pk is a primitive cell while Ek evolved from the pk cell with a nucleus. Pk doesn’t have a true nucleus and compartmentalization because of which the genetic material is present with other organelles in the cytoplasm, but Ek cells evolve the compartmentalization and having all the organelles in a cell. Ek has the genetic material intact in the nucleus.

Differnce between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell


Eukaryotic Cell

Organelles and a membrane-bound nucleus are only seen in eukaryotic cells. Large and complex creatures are made up of eukaryotic cells, which have a nucleus surrounded by a nuclear membrane. Eukaryotic cells are found in fungi, plants, mammals, and protozoa. They are categorized as belonging to the Eukaryota kingdom. They have chromosomes, which organize their genetic material. The Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, ribosomes, and nucleus are all present in eukaryotic cells.

Characteristics of Eukaryotic Cell

  1. In eukaryotic cells, the nuclear membrane encapsulates the nucleus.
  2. Cell membranes are the term for eukaryotic cells’ outermost layer.
  3. The way cells divide is through the mitosis process.
  4. The cytoskeleton is present in eukaryotic cells.
  5. The mitochondria of the cell exist
  6. In a eukaryotic cell, the locomotory organs are flagella and cilia.
  7. A unique, linear DNA located in the nucleus maintains all of the genetic material.

Prokaryote Cell

Prokaryotic cells are single-celled microorganisms that are thought to be the oldest on the planet. Bacteria and Archaea are examples of prokaryotes. Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that perform photosynthesis. Because a prokaryotic cell has a single membrane, all processes take place within the cytoplasm. They can be either free-living or parasitic.

Characteristics of Prokaryote Cell

Different characteristics distinguish prokaryotic cells. The properties of prokaryotic cells are discussed further below.

  1. They lack histone proteins, which are essential components of eukaryotic chromosomes.
  2. Carbohydrates and amino acids make up the cell wall.
  3. The plasma membrane serves as the mitochondrial membrane, which transports respiratory enzymes.
  4. They split asexually through binary fission. Conjugation is a sexual mode of reproduction.
  5. They do not have a nuclear membrane.
  6. There are no mitochondria, Golgi bodies, chloroplasts, or lysosomes.
  7. The genetic material is only found on one chromosome.

Differences Between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes


Prokaryotes Cell

Eukaryotes Cell

Cell Organelles

Cell have membrane-bound organelles that are absent

Cells have membrane-bound organelles is present


There isn’t a clearly defined nucleus. Additionally, there is the nucleoid, a DNA-containing open area, present here.

There is undoubtedly a distinct nucleus present in this. Additionally, a nuclear membrane surrounds it.


The size of the cell is smaller (0.1–5 μm).

In comparison, the cell size is bigger (10-100 μm).

DNA Arrangement

Their DNA is circular in shape.

Their DNA is linear in structure.

Type of Cell

This cell has a unicellular structure

Multicellular eukaryotic cells predominate. Nevertheless, some are monocellular.

Lysosome and Peroxisome

Lysosomes and Peroxisomes absent

Lysosomes and Peroxisomes present

MicrotubulesMicrotubules are absentMicrotubules are present
Endoplasmic ReticulumThe endoplasmic reticulum is absentThe endoplasmic reticulum is present
MitochondriaMitochondria is absentMitochondria is present
CytoskeletonCytoskeleton is absentCytoskeleton is present
RibosomesRibosomes are smallerRibosomes are larger
VesiclesVesicles are presentVesicles are present
Cell WallThe cell wall is presentCell wall not present in Ek cell
Cell DivisonPk cell divide by binary fission Ek cell divide by a process known as mitosis.
ReproductionAsexual ReproductionEk shows both sexual and asexual reproduction
FlagellaPresent but smaller in size.Large-size flagella.
ExampleArchea, BacteriaPlant, Fungi, Animal Cell

FAQs on Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cell

Question 1: What is a Eukaryotic cell?


 Eukaryotic cells are those cells having a nucleus in the cell which carries the genetic material of the cell. 

Question 2: What is a Prokaryotic cell?


Cells not having true nucleus such cells are known as prokaryotic cells.

Question 3: What are the differences between animal and plant cells?


Majorly cells of animals and plants cells are the same. But plant cells have an extra protective layer known as a cell wall which is not present in an animal cell. 

Question 4: Who discovered Cell and Cell Theory?


Robert Hooke discovered the cell in 1665. Theodor Schwann and Matthias Jakob Schledien give the cell theory in 1830.

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