Difference Between Prokaryotic Cell vs. Eukaryotic Cell

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Main Difference

Cells are the smallest basic unit of life; a human body comprises of average 37.2 trillion cells. With the combination of such a whopping amount of cells, tissues are made, and further, the tissues get combine to form different organs in the living body. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells are the two types of cell that can be mainly distinguished according to the presence of definite nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles. Prokaryotic cells are said to be the most primitive cells, as they are believed to be the only basis of life million of years ago. Eukaryotic cells are said to be the evolved form of prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells do not have a definite nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles, whereas eukaryotic cells have complex structures as they have a definite nucleus, which is enclosed by a nuclear membrane.

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Comparison Chart

BasisProkaryotic CellEukaryotic Cell
StructureProkaryotic cells do not have a definite nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles.Eukaryotic cells have complex structures as they have a definite nucleus, which is enclosed by a nuclear membrane.
EvolutionPrimitiveEvolved from Prokaryotes
SizeProkaryotic cells range from 0.1 to 5.0 micrometers (μm) in size.Eukaryotic cells range from 10 to 100 μm in size.
ChromosomesMostly, eukaryotic organisms are multicellular, and they have multiple stored chromosomes.Prokaryotes adjust for the only chromosome that is circular in shape.

What is Prokaryotic Cell?

These cells are said to be the only basis of life million of years ago, with the change and things getting complex, it later evolved into the eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells are less complex as they lack a definite nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. Organisms having the prokaryotic cells are called prokaryotes, they are unicellular, although some of the multicellular prokaryotes also exist. As mentioned above prokaryotic cells do not contain a definite nucleus and any other membrane-bound organelles. The nuclear membrane does not cover the chromatin within and spreads inside the cytoplasm. Prokaryotes have the nucleus, but it isn’t in that definite shape or doesn’t have complex functions of DNA storage as eukaryotes have. The type of nucleus prokaryotic cells holds (not covered with cell membrane) is called a nucleoid. The organisms having prokaryotic cell function are called prokaryotes. The prokaryotes can further be placed into two main types; bacteria and archaea.

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What is Eukaryotic Cell?

Eukaryotic cells have the complex structure as they have a definite nucleus and also have a nuclear membrane in which chromatin is enclosed. We, human beings are the best example of prokaryotes as our body performs complex functions and is efficient than the unicellular prokaryotic cells. The eukaryotic cells are large as compared to the prokaryotes. Prokaryotic cells range from 0.1 to 5.0 micrometers (μm) in size, whereas, eukaryotic cells range from 10 to 100 μm in size. Plants, fungi, animals are some of the most common examples of eukaryotes (organisms having eukaryotic cell function). Most eukaryotic organisms are multicellular, and they have multiple stored chromosomes in DNA, whereas prokaryotes adjust for the only chromosome that is circular in shape.

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Key Differences

  1. Prokaryotic cells do not have a definite nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles, whereas eukaryotic cells have complex structures as they have a definite nucleus, which is enclosed by a nuclear membrane.
  2. Eukaryotic cells are said to be the evolved form of prokaryotic cells, which are believed to be the only basis of life million of years ago.
  3. Most eukaryotic organisms are multicellular, and they have multiple stored chromosomes in DNA, whereas prokaryotes adjust for the only chromosome that is circular in shape.
  4. Prokaryotic cells range from 0.1 to 5.0 micrometers (μm) in size, whereas, eukaryotic cells range from 10 to 100 μm in size.
  5. Prokaryotes have no nucleus; eukaryotes have a proper nucleus.
  6. Eukaryotes have chromosomes which are more than one; prokaryotic cells have one chromosome.
  7. Prokaryotes are unicellular; eukaryotes are multicellular.
  8. Prokaryotes lack a true membrane outside the nucleus; eukaryotes have a proper membrane for the nucleus.
  9. Eukaryotes include animals and plants; prokaryotes include bacteria and archaea.
  10. Eukaryotes undergo the process of meiosis; prokaryotes undergo binary fission and asexual reproduction.
  11. Eukaryotes contain peroxisomes and lysosomes; prokaryotes lack them.
  12. Eukaryotes have endoplasmic reticulum; prokaryotes do not have any endoplasmic reticulum.
  13. Eukaryotes have cytoskeleton while on the other hand prokaryotes lack cytoskeleton and sometimes possess it.
  14. The size of ribosome sis large in Eukaryotes; it is small in case of prokaryotes.
  15. There is no Golgi apparatus in prokaryotes; Eukaryotes consist of Golgi apparatus.
  16. Eukaryotes contain chloroplast; prokaryotes lack chloroplast.
  17. In Eukaryotes there is a selective nuclear membrane present which lacks in prokaryotes.
  18. The cell wall of Eukaryotes is chemically very simple and the cell wall in the case of prokaryotes in chemically complex.
  19. The size of the cell of Eukaryotes is 10-100um in diameter; Prokaryotic cells are 0.2-2.0um in diameter.
  20. Flagella are in microscopic in the eukaryotic cells and are present in a submicroscopic in size.

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