Prokaryotic Cell And Eukaryotic Cell

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Prokaryotic Cell And Eukaryotic Cell

Prokaryotic Cell And Eukaryotic Cell

Prokaryotic Cells

Prokaryotes are evolutionarily ancient. They were here first and for billions of years were the only form of life. And even with the evolution of more complex eukaryotic cells, prokaryotes are supremely successful. All bacteria and bacteria-like Archaea are prokaryotic organisms.

Eukaryotic Cells

Eukaryotic cells are more complex, evolving from a prokaryote-like predecessor. Most of the living things that we are typically familiar with are composed of eukaryotic cells; animals, plants, fungi and protists. Eukaryotic organisms can either be single-celled or multi-celled.

Features of Prokaryotes

Pro = “before”, karyon = “nucleus”

Prokaryotes, the first living organisms to evolve, are primarily distinguished by the fact that they lack a membrane-bound nucleus. In fact, the only membrane in prokaryotic cells is the plasma membrane--the outer boundary of the cell itself. Their genetic material is naked within the cytoplasm, ribosomes their only type of organelle.

Prokaryotes are most always single-celled, except when they exist in colonies. These ancestral cells, now represented by members of the domains Archaea and Eubacteria, reproduce by means of binary fission, duplicating their genetic material and then essentially splitting to form two daughter cells identical to the parent.

Features of Eukaryotes

Eu = “true”, karyon = “nucleus”

The most noticeable feature that differentiates these more complex cells from prokaryotes is the presence of a nucleus, a double membrane-bound control center separating the genetic material, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), from the rest of the cell.

In addition to the plasma membrane, eukaryotic cells contain internal membrane-bound structures called organelles. Organelles, such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, are both believed to have evolved from prokaryotes that began living symbiotically within eukaryotic cells. These vital organelles are involved in metabolism and energy conversion within the cell. Other cellular organelles within eukaryotic cell structure carry out the many additional functions required for the cell to survive, ...
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