What are the main differences between eukaryotes and prokaryotes?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 817 views

Both eukaryotes and prokaryotes are types of living cell. The types of cell you normally consider in the animal body are eukaryotes. They have a cell membrane around the outside, with a nuceus in its own membrane inside. There are also other membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and vesicles. Eukaryotes are differentiated cells, and their DNA is held exclusively in the nucleus. Prokaryotes are things like bacteria, and they have both a cell membrane and a cell wall. There is no nuclear membrane, instead their DNA is looped freely in the cytoplasm, although sometime there is extra nuclear material wrapped in plasmids. Prokaryotes don't generally have mitochondria, they can have other extra features instead, eg a flagellum (tail). Also, the ribosomes of prokaryotes are a lot smaller, as well as the whole cell being smaller. 

Sophie R. A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Chemistr...

About the author

is an online A Level Biology tutor who tutored with MyTutor studying at Newcastle University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok