Differences between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes


Table of Contents

What is Prokaryote?

A single-celled organism without nucleus and other organelles with membranes. Prokaryotes are derived in the Greek pro (pro”pre” – meaning “before”) and the word karuon (karyon, meaning ‘nut’ or “kernel”). In the two-empire model that resulted in the works of Edouard Chatton, prokaryotes were classified as part of the Empire of Prokaryota. However, in the three-domain system that is based on molecular analysis, prokaryotes are divided into two domains: Bacteria (formerly Eubacteria) and Archaea (formerly Archaebacteria). Organisms with nuclei are put in the third domain, Eukaryota. When studying the evolutionary origins of life prokaryotes are believed to have ascended before Eukaryotes.

Apart from the lack of a nucleus prokaryotes are also devoid of mitochondria, or other organelles bound to membranes that define the eukaryotic cells, and it was thought previously that prokaryotic cells’ components inside the cytoplasm were not enclosed, with the exception of the cell’s outer membrane. However, microcompartments of bacterial origin that are believed to have been simple organelles encased in protein shells have been found as well as various other organelles found in prokaryotes. While they’re typically monocellular, some prokaryotes like cyanobacteria, can make large colonies. Some, like myxobacteria have multicellular stages during their life cycle. Prokaryotes reproduce without the fusion of gametes but horizontal gene transfer also occurs.


The study of molecular biology has provided insights into the development and interrelationships among the three realms of life. The separation between prokaryotes as well as Eukaryotes is due to their existence at two different levels of cell organization. the only cells that are eukaryotic have an enveloped nucleus which houses its chromosomal DNA as well as other distinct membrane-bound organelles, including mitochondria. Prokaryotes that are distinct from other types include methanogens and extremophiles. These are prevalent in extreme conditions.

What is Eukaryotes?

Eukaryotes are living creatures whose cells contain a nucleus that is enclosed in the nuclear envelope. Eukaryotes fall under the realm of Eukaryota or Eukarya Their name comes from the Greek Eukaryota (eu, “well” or “good”) and Karuon (karyon, “nut” or “kernel”). The domain Eukaryota is just one domain of life. archaea and bacteria (the prokaryotes) are the two other domains. Eukaryotes are generally thought of as having evolved in the Archaea or as a cousin of the more cultivated Asgard archaea. Eukaryotes are a tiny fraction of the total number of organisms, but due to their generally greater size and size global biomass is believed at around the prokaryotes. Eukaryotes began to appear around 2.1-1.7 billion years ago in their Proterozoic eon, probably being flagellated, phagotrophs.


Eukaryotic cells usually contain additional membrane-bound organelles, like mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, and chloroplasts are found in both algae and plants. Prokaryotic cells can include primitive organelles. Eukaryotes could be multicellular or unicellular, and contain a range of cell types that create different kinds of tissues. In contrast, prokaryotes are typically unicellular. Animals, plants, as well as mushrooms are the most commonly known Eukaryotes. Others are often referred to as protists.

Eukaryotes reproduce asexually via mitosis as well as sexually via meiosis as well as gamete fusion. Mitosis occurs when one cell divides and produces two identical genetically-identical cells. In meiosis, DNA replication occurs followed by two cycles of cell division to create four haploid cells. They are gametes, or sex cells. Each gamete has only 1 set of chromosomes each one a distinct mix of the respective parent chromosome pair, resulting from meiosis-induced genetic recombination.


Differences between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes – Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes

Term OriginGreek for “primitivenucleus”Greekto refer to the “true nucleus”
DefinitionOrganisms that are made up of cell(s) without nuclei of cells or organelles with membranes.Organisms composed of cells that have a membrane-bound nucleus , as well as organelles that are membrane-bound.
Major groupsBacteria Archae Bacteria, Archae Bluegreen algaeAlgae, fungiand protozoa Animals, plants, algae
OriginThe time was around 3.5 billion years ago.Two billion years ago.
Size (approximate)0.5-3.0 mm>5 mm
Cell TypeTypically, they are unicellular (some cyanobacteria might be multicellular)Usually, multicellular
ComplexitySimpleComplex organisation.
Nucleus LocationCellulose-free, connected to mesosomesMembrane bound structure
Nucleur membraneNo nuclear membrane.The classic membrane is present.
Chromosome numberOneMore than one
Shape of the ChromosomeCircularLinear
GenesOperans are groups of cells that are expressed in operons.Individually
GenomeDNA haploid genomeDNA diploid genome
DNA base ratio (G+C %)28-73About 40
DNA wrapping on proteinsMultiple proteins work together in order to condense and fold prokaryotic DNA. The DNA that is folded is put into a variety of configurations that are supercoiled, and wrapped around tetramers from the Hu protein.Eukaryotes are able to wrap their DNA around proteins known as histones.
Genome natureSmall and compact, but with a lot of repetitive DNA.Large amounts in non-coding, repetitive DNA.
Organelles bound by membranesAbsentPresent
Ribosomes (sedimentation coefficient)70S (50S + 30S).Smaller.80S (60S + 40S). Larger.
The position of the RibosomeIn cytoplasm, free or boundto the cell’s to cell membraneAttached to the rough endoplasmicreticulum
Golgi bodiesAbsentPresent
Endoplasmic reticulumAbsentPresent
MesosomesPresent. Functions as Golgi body and mitochondria, and aids in the separation of chromosomes during cell division.Absent
ChloroplastsThe chlorophyll is absent; it’s scattered throughout the cell cytoplasmIn the present (in plants)
FimbriaeProkaryotes could have pili as well as fimbriae (appendage that are present on several Gram-negative bacteria as well as certain Gram-positive bacteria).Absent
MicrotubulesRare or absentPresent
CentrosomeAbsentThe present is not evident, except for flowering plants.
CytoskeletonCould be absentPresent
GlycocalyxPresentIn a small fraction of
Cytoplasmic streamingAbsentPresent
Cytoplasmic membraneDoes not contain the sterols (except Mycoplasma)Containing Sterols
Cell wallComplex structure with proteins, lipids, as well as peptidoglycansCells of plants and Fungi. Other times, absent
Muramic acidPresentAbsent
MovementSimple flagellum, if presentComplex flagellum, if present
RespirationThrough the cytoplasmic membraneVia mitochondria
Site for energy productionThe transport chain for electrons is located inside the cellmembraneWithin the membrane boundmitochondria
Metabolic rateGreater due to a greater surface area to volume ratioComparatively slow
ReproductionAsexual (binary fission)Asexual and sexual division
Time to generateShorterComparatively more long
Genetic RecombinationPartial, unidirectional transferMeiosis and the fusion of gametes
ZygoteMerozygotic (partially diploid)Diploid
ExtrachromosomalDNAPlasmidInside themitochondria
DNA replicationIt is found in the cells.In the nucleus.
Translation and transcriptionThis occurs concurrently.The transcription process occurs in the nucleus, and after that, translation takes place in the cells.

Leave a Comment

Our Domain,, has now change to
This domain will be Unavailable, All the posts from this website are transferred to the new domain. Enjoy study
Important notice
Overlay Image
Our website,, has now change to
This domain will be Unavailable, All the posts from this website are transferred to the new domain. Enjoy study
Overlay Image

Adblocker detected! Please consider reading this notice.

We've detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software which is preventing the page from fully loading.

We don't have any banner, Flash, animation, obnoxious sound, or popup ad. We do not implement these annoying types of ads!

We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from our online advertising.

Please add to your ad blocking whitelist or disable your adblocking software.