Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells conduct necessary living functions but they differ in many aspects. The major prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic cells difference lies in their DNA structure. Where prokaryotic cells have circular and double-stranded DNA, eukaryotic cells have double-stranded linear DNA. Also, prokaryotic cells do not have membrane-bound organelles, unlike eukaryotic cells.
Let’s take a closer look at prokaryotic cells vs. eukaryotic cells:
|DNA structure||Prokaryotic cells feature a circular DNA while eukaryotes feature a linear one|
|Nucleus||Eukaryotic cells feature a well-defined nucleus while prokaryotic cells do not|
|Membrane||Eukaryotes have membrane-bound cell organelles while prokaryotes do not|
|Cell size||Prokaryotic cells are smaller than eukaryotic cells|
What is a Prokaryotic Cell?
A prokaryotic cell is one in which both membrane-bound cell organelles and a well-defined nucleus are absent.
What is a Eukaryotic cell?
A cell that has a well-defined nucleus and a membrane to bind it is called a eukaryotic cell.
Prokaryotes vs. Eukaryotes Pros and Cons
Prokaryotic Pros and Cons
Pros of Prokaryotic
- These cells add essential nutrients to the soil by decomposing dead organic matter.
- Gut bacteria, a type of prokaryotic organism, aids digestion in higher beings like animals and humans.
Cons of Prokaryotic
- The absence of organelles results in inefficient cellular processes.
- They are unable to form complex organisms.
Eukaryotes Pros and Cons
Pros of Eukaryotic
- The lack of a cell wall helps in the efficient and fast exchange of nutrient absorption.
- The membrane-bound structure helps every area perform its function well owing to no interference by activities going on in surrounding regions.
Cons of Eukaryotic
- These cells take longer to reproduce since it takes more time to duplicate the higher number of organelles present in them.
- Eukaryotic cells make low-yield proteins.
Prokaryotic Cells vs. Eukaryotic Cells Examples
Examples of Prokaryotic cells
- Blue-green Algae
Examples of Eukaryotic cells
Considering the Similarities Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
- Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells conduct necessary living functions.
- Both these cells can be single-celled organisms.
- Both cells have storage space, for food and liquid, called vacuoles.
- Both types of cells have DNA and rDNA.
9 Key Differences Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells That You Need To Know
|Basis||Prokaryotic Cells||Eukaryotic Cells|
|Size||Prokaryotic cell size measures between 0.1 microns to 5 microns.||Eukaryotic cell size ranges from10 to 100 microns.|
|Nucleus||Prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus.||Eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus.|
|Lysosomes and Peroxisomes||Lysosomes and peroxisomes are absent in prokaryotic cells.||Lysosomes and peroxisomes are present in eukaryotes.|
|Endoplasmic Reticulum||It is absent in prokaryotic cells.||It is present in these cells.|
|Microtubules||Microtubules are absent in them.||Microtubules are present in eukaryotic cells.|
|Cell Division||Cell division occurs by binary fission.||Cell division occurs by mitosis.|
|Reproduction||Prokaryotic cells reproduce asexually.||Eukaryotic cells have sexual reproduction.|
|Shapes||Prokaryotic cells can be rod-shaped, spiral-shaped, or spherical.||Eukaryotic cells can have a wide range of shapes like cylindrical, flat, cuboidal, crescent, polygonal, spheroid, et al.|
|DNA arrangement||DNA strands are arranged in a circular path.||DNA strands are arranged in a linear pathway.|
Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells FAQs
Are Ribosomes Found in Prokaryotic Cells?
Yes, ribosomes are found freely floating throughout the cytoplasm in a prokaryotic cell.
How are Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells Similar?
Following are the major similarities of prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes:
- Both cell types have a cell membrane as a protective barrier.
- Both the cells use DNA for cell functioning.
- Both the cell types have ribosomes to synthesize protein.
How do Prokaryotic Cells Differ from Eukaryotic Cells?
The prokaryotes and eukaryotes difference can be highlighted by the following pointers:
- Prokaryotic cells are unicellular. Eukaryotic cells are multicellular.
- Prokaryotic cells can perform photosynthesis whereas eukaryotic cells can’t.
- Prokaryotic cells can perform locomotion whereas eukaryotic cells can’t.
What are Prokaryotic Cells and Eukaryotic Cells?
Living cells that lack nuclei are prokaryotic. And cells that have a defined nucleus are eukaryotic. Prokaryotic cells feature circular DNA while eukaryotes feature a linear one.
What is the Major Difference Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells Brainpop?
The difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells can be seen by looking at the presence and absence of the membrane-bound nucleus and organelles in them, respectively.
Do Prokaryotes Have DNA?
Yes, prokaryotes have double-stranded, circular DNA strands.
What Are Some Examples of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells?
- Examples of prokaryotic cells are cyanobacteria, Streptomyces soil bacteria, Escherichia coli bacterium, and lactobacillus acidophilus.
- Examples of eukaryotic cells are potatoes, grass, mushrooms, and fruit flies.
Is the Virus Prokaryotic or Eukaryotic?
Viruses are neither prokaryotic nor eukaryotic as they lack any cellular structure necessary for this classification. (Ref. 1)
What Animal Cell is Prokaryotic or Eukaryotic?
Animal cells have all the eukaryotic cell sizes including the most important: a well-defined, membrane-bound nucleus where DNA is stored. (Ref. 2)
Are all Prokaryotes Unicellular?
Prokaryotes are multicellular only in rare cases. Where they are unicellular almost always, some bacteria, called the biofilms, experience multicellular life stages. (Ref. 3)
The Final Words
When we compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, we see that both help in conducting necessary living functions but they have many different characteristics. Prokaryotic cells do not have membrane-bound organelles while eukaryotic cells do have a membrane to bind the nucleus. Considering cytoplasm prokaryotic or eukaryotic, a prokaryotic cell has cytoplasm inside the plasma membrane while a eukaryotic cell has cytoplasm in between its nuclear envelope and plasma membrane. The transcription and translation processes are coupled in prokaryotic cells. On the other hand, transcription takes place in the nucleus in the case of eukaryotic cells while translation happens in its cytoplasm. Considering the size of these two cells, prokaryotic cells are smaller than eukaryotic cells. Additionally, lysosomes and peroxisomes are present in eukaryotic cells, unlike prokaryotic cells in which these are absent.