Q:

What is the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells?

A:

Quick Answer

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells differ in many ways, notably in the structure of their cell walls, the arrangement of their genetic material and their internal arrangement of cellular machinery. Eukaryotes, a group that encompasses all large organisms, also tend to reproduce sexually, while prokaryotes show more variation in reproductive methods.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Prokaryotic cells tend to be smaller than eukaryotic cells. Typical prokaryotes range in size between 0.2 and 2 nanometers, while eukaryotes can be up to 50 times larger. Eukaryotic cells are distinguished by the existence of a true nucleus and multiple internal structures called organelles. Prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus, and membraneous organelles are totally absent. Most prokaryotic cells have a chemically complex cell wall, but eukaryotic cells either have no wall or a chemically simple one. Eukaryotic cells incorporate carbohydrates into their plasma membranes and use sterols as messenger structures. Prokaryotes do not use carbohydrates in this way, and they rarely use sterols.

The genes of eukaryotic cells are arranged in a linear fashion along multiple chromosomes, while prokaryotes posses only a single, ring-shaped chromosome. This might be related to their very different methods of reproduction. Prokaryotes do not engage in meiosis, but reproduce via simple binary cell division.

Learn more about Cells
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do human cells have cell walls?

    A:

    Human cells do not have cell walls. Cell walls are multilayered structures that are unique to plants, bacteria, fungi and some protozoa. However, only plant cell walls are made out of cellulose.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference in prokaryotic cells vs. eukaryotic cells?

    A:

    According to the University of Maryland, prokaryotic cells are around 10 to 100 times smaller than eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells have a cell wall that is chemically complex. Eukaryotic cells have a very simple cell wall or none at all.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What types of cells are animal cells?

    A:

    Animal cells are eukaryotic cells, or cells that contain a membrane-bound nucleus. The nucleus holds the DNA of the cell that provides the cell with instructions for life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which features are common to prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells?

    A:

    Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells have multiple features in common, including the use of DNA to code for proteins, RNA for translation into proteins and ribosomes to read the RNA. Both types also share such basic cell features as cell membranes and molecules, such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. Many prokaryotes and eukaryotes also have cell walls, but the constituents of the walls differ between them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore