Every life organism falls into one of two groups: eukaryotes or prokaryotes. Cellular framework determines which group an biology belongs to. In this article, us will describe in detail what prokaryotes and eukaryotes are and outline the differences between the two.

Prokaryote definition

Prokaryotes space unicellular biology that absence membrane-bound structures, the most noteworthy of i m sorry is the nucleus. Prokaryotic cells tend to be small, basic cells, measuring roughly 0.1-5 μm in diameter.


While prokaryotes cells execute not have actually membrane-bound structures, they execute have unique cellular regions. In prokaryotic cells, DNA bundles with each other in a an ar called the nucleoid.

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Prokaryotic cell features

Here is a failure of what you might find in a prokaryotes bacterial cell.

A central region of the cell that has its DNA. Ribosome: Ribosomes room responsible for protein synthesis. Cell wall: The cell wall provides structure and protection native the exterior environment. Most bacteria have actually a strict cell wall made from carbohydrates and proteins called peptidoglycans. Cell membrane: Every prokaryote has a cell membrane, also known as the plasma membrane, the separates the cell from the exterior environment. Capsule: part bacteria have actually a great of carbohydrates the surrounds the cell wall called the capsule. The capsule help the bacterium affix to surfaces. Fimbriae: Fimbriae room thin, hair-like frameworks that assist with cellular attachment. Pili: Pili room rod-shaped structures affiliated in multiple roles, consisting of attachment and also DNA transfer. Flagella: Flagella room thin, tail-like structures that assist in movement.

Examples that prokaryotes

Bacteria and also archaea room the two species of prokaryotes.

Do prokaryotes have actually mitochondria?

No, prokaryotes perform not have mitochondria. Mitochondria are only discovered in eukaryotic bio cells. This is additionally true of other membrane-bound structures like the nucleus and also the Golgi apparatus (more on this later).One theory for eukaryotic development hypothesizes that mitochondria were first prokaryotic cell that live inside other cells. Over time, evolution led come these different organisms functioning together a single organism in the kind of a eukaryote.

Eukaryote definition

Eukaryotes room organisms whose cells have a nucleus and other organelles fastened by a plasma membrane. Oribelles are internal structures responsible because that a selection of functions, such as energy production and also protein synthesis.


The vital structures present in a eukaryotic bio cell.

Eukaryotic cells are huge (around 10-100 μm) and also complex. While most eukaryotes room multicellular organisms, there space some single-cell eukaryotes.

Eukaryotic cabinet features

Within a eukaryotic cell, each membrane-bound structure carries out certain cellular functions. Below is summary of numerous of the primary materials of eukaryotic cells.

The nucleus stores the genetic information in dyed form. Nucleolus: found inside the the nucleus, the nuclear source is the component of eukaryotic cells where ribosomal RNA is produced.Plasma membrane: The plasma membrane is a phospholipid bilayer that surrounding the entire cell and also encompasses the organelles within.Cytoskeleton or cabinet wall: The cytoskeleton or cell wall surface provides structure, enables for cell movement, and also plays a role in cell division. Ribosomes: Ribosomes space responsible because that protein synthesis. Mitochondria: Mitochondria, additionally known as the powerhouses of the cell, are responsible for energy production.Cytoplasm: The cytoplasm is the region of the cell between the nuclear envelope and also plasma membrane. Cytosol: Cytosol is a gel-like substance within the cabinet that has the organelles. Endoplasmic reticulum: The endoplasmic reticulum is an organelle dedicated to protein maturation and also transportation. Vesicles and also vacuoles: Vesicles and vacuoles are membrane-bound sacs connected in transportation and also storage.

Other typical organelles discovered in many, yet not all, eukaryotes encompass the Golgi apparatus, chloroplasts and also lysosomes.

Examples that eukaryotes

Animals, plants, fungi, algae and also protozoans room all eukaryotes.

Comparing prokaryotes and eukaryotes

All life ~ above Earth is composed of either eukaryotic bio cells or prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotes to be the an initial form the life. Scientists believe that eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes approximately 2.7 billion year ago.The primary difference between this two species of biology is that eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus and also prokaryotic cells do not. The nucleus is whereby eukaryotes keep their genetic information. In prokaryotes, DNA is bundled with each other in the nucleoid region, yet it is no stored in ~ a membrane-bound nucleus.The nucleus is just one of many membrane-bound oribelles in eukaryotes. Prokaryotes, top top the various other hand, have actually no membrane-bound organelles. One more important distinction is the DNA structure. Eukaryote DNA consists of multiple molecule of double-stranded direct DNA, while the of prokaryotes is double-stranded and also circular.

Key similarities between prokaryotes and eukaryotes


A comparison reflecting the shared and unique functions of prokaryotes and eukaryotes

All cells, whether prokaryotic or eukaryotic, share these 4 features:

1. DNA

2. Plasma membrane

3. Cytoplasm

4. Ribosomes

Transcription and translation in prokaryotes vs eukaryotes

In prokaryotes cells, transcription and also translation room coupled, meaning translation starts during mRNA synthesis.In eukaryotic cells, transcription and also translation room not coupled. Transcription occurs in the nucleus, producing mRNA. The mRNA then exits the nucleus, and also translation occurs in the cell’s cytoplasm.

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What room the key differences in between prokaryotes and also eukaryotes?

Prokaryotes and eukaryotes vary in several vital ways - these distinctions include structure variation - even if it is a nucleus is current or absent, and also whether the cell has membrane-bound organelles, and also molecular variation, consisting of whether the DNA is in a circular or direct form. The distinctions are summary in the table below.
Membrane-bound organellesAbsentPresent
Cell structureUnicellularMostly multicellular; part unicellular
Cell sizeSmaller (0.1-5 μm)Larger (10-100 μm)
ComplexitySimplerMore complex
DNA FormCircularLinear
ExamplesBacteria, archaeaAnimals, plants, fungi, protists