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Discovered by Robert Hook in the year 1665, cells are the structural and functional unit of life.

Discovered by Robert Hook in the year 1665, cells are the structural and functional unit of life. Some cells are bound by membrane organelles while some are not. Depending on the internal structure of the cells and whether they are bound by a membrane or not, cells in organisms are of two types- Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic. Prokaryotic cells are the most primitive kind and do not have a defined nucleus with bacteria or cyanobacteria. The cytoplasm of the cells contains scattered chromatin bodies. Prokaryotic cells are smaller than eukaryotic cells and asexual division in the form of binary fission is noted in them. Eukaryotic cells are believed to have evolved from prokaryotic cells and have a characteristic membrane nucleus. The cytoplasm of these cells contains mitochondria that are bound by membranes, a defined nucleus and chromatin bodies contained within a nuclear membrane as well. Eukaryotic cells are subject to both asexual and sexual divisions.  Much larger in size as compared to prokaryotes, these show a more structured organisation. The most distinguished difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes are their cellular features. However, these are highly similar in terms of the presence of plasma membranes and the fact that for genetic information, both make use of DNA. Examples of prokaryotes include microorganisms like bacteria while examples of eukaryotes include various fungi and algae.

Known to be the very earliest in the world, prokaryotic cells are single-celled microorganisms, and include archaea and bacteria. These cells usually live freely by themselves or can be found in the gut of other organisms. The cells have a single membrane and consist of cytoplasm. Certain prokaryotic cells perform photosynthesis with the help of the cyanobacteria inside them.

Prokaryotic Cells are Made up of the Following Components:

While prokaryotic cells do not consist of nuclear membranes, mitochondria or Golgi bodies, there are several other components that add to their structure. They are:

Various Characteristic Features of Prokaryotic Cells are as Follows:

Eukaryotic cells form more complex and larger organisms. They have a nuclear membrane that comprises of a nucleus.  Eukaryotic cells can thrive in and maintain multiple environments as part of a single cell- a characteristic that helps them grow larger as compared to prokaryotic cells and also facilitates metabolic reactions. Animals, plants, fungi and protozoa have eukaryotic cells and are classified under the Eukaryota kingdom.

Eukaryotic Cells Consist of the Following Components that Make up their Structure:

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Presence of a single chromosome, however, the chromosome is not true

The cytoplasm where transcription takes place

The nucleus is where transcription takes place

Size is microscopic, though enclosed in membranes

Cell division occurs through binary fission

Cell division occurs through mitosis

Examples include bacteria and archaea

Examples include plant and animal cells