Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes – Main Differences and Comparison


Prokaryotic cells, as well as eukaryotic cells, both are two fundamental classes of cells. All organisms are formed from the basic fundamental unit of life i.e. cells. Human is a eukaryote. Human cells are eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotes having membrane-bound organelles, including the primitive nucleus. Bacteria is a prokaryote. Prokaryotes don’t have a nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles.

Differences between Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes cells comparison

Difference Between Eukaryotic Cells vs Prokaryotic Cells:

In this article, we are going to discuss the main differences between the eukaryotes (like Human body) and prokaryotes (like Bacteria).

1.Term Origin‘pro’ = pre, ‘karyon’= nucleus; Greek for “primitive nucleus”‘eu’ = true, ‘karyo’ = nucleus; Greek for “true nucleus”
2.DefinitionOrganisms made up of the cell(s) that lack a cell nucleus or any membrane-bound organelles.Organisms made up of cells that possess a membrane-bound nucleus as well as membrane-bound organelles.
3.Major groupsBacteria, Archaea, and Bluegreen algae.Algae, fungi, protozoa, plants, animals.
4.OriginAround 3.5 billion years ago.Around 2 billion years ago.
5.Size (approximate)0.5-3.0 μm>5 μm
6.Cell TypeUsually unicellular (some cyanobacteria may be multicellular)Usually multicellular
7.ComplexitySimple organization.Complex organization.
8.Nucleus LocationFree in the cytoplasm, attached to mesosomes.Contained in membrane-bound structure.
9.Nuclear membraneNo nuclear membrane.Double membrane present.
10.NucleolusAbsent in this.Present.
11.Chromosome numberOneMore than one
12.Chromosome shapeCircularLinear
13.GenesExpressed in groups called operons.Expressed individually
14.GenomeDNA haploid genomeDNA diploid genome
15.DNA base ratio (G+C %)Near about 28-73about 40
16.DNA wrapping on proteinsMultiple proteins act together to fold and condense prokaryotic DNA. Folded DNA is then organized into a variety of conformations that are supercoiled and wound around tetramers of the HU protein.Eukaryotes wrap their DNA around proteins called histones.
17.Genome natureEfficient and compact with little repetitive DNA.This present with large amounts of non-coding repetitive DNA.
18.Membrane-bound organellesAbsentBoth membrane-bound and lack membrane-bound organelles present.
19.Ribosomes (sedimentation coefficient)70S (50S + 30S). Smaller unit present.80S (60S + 40S). Larger unit present.
20.Ribosome’s locationFree in the cytoplasm or bound to the cell membrane.Attached to rough endoplasmic reticulum and also found freely in the cytoplasm.
22.Golgi bodiesAbsentPresent.
23.Endoplasmic reticulumAbsentPresent.
24.MesosomesPresent. Performs the function of Golgi bodies and mitochondria and also help in the separation of the chromosome during cell division.Absent
27.ChloroplastsAbsent; chlorophyll scattered in the cytoplasmPresent (in plants)
28.FimbriaeProkaryotes may have pili and fimbriae (the appendage that can be found on many Gram-negative and some Gram-positive bacteria).Absent
30.CentrosomeAbsentPresent in animals cell.
31.CytoskeletonMay be absentPresent
32.GlycocalyxPresentOnly in some
33.Cytoplasmic streamingAbsentPresent
34.Cytoplasmic membraneSterols absent (except Mycoplasma)Contains sterols.
35.Cell wallComplex hard structure made up of protein, lipids, and peptidoglycans.Present for plant cells and fungi; otherwise absent
36.Muramic acidPresentAbsent
37.MovementSimple flagellum, if  presentComplex flagellum, if present
38.RespirationThrough cytoplasmic membrane.By mitochondria.
39.Energy production siteElectron transport chain found in the cell membraneInside membrane-bound mitochondria
40.Metabolic rateHigher due to the larger surface area to volume ratio.Comparatively slow than a prokaryotic cell.
41.ReproductionOnly asexual (binary fission) Both sexual and asexual reproduction present. Mitotic division
42.Generation timeShorterRelatively longer.
43.Genetic RecombinationPartial, unidirectional transferMeiosis and fusion of gametes occur.
44.ZygoteMerozygotic (partially diploid)Diploid(2n) cell.
45.Extrachromosomal DNAOccur in Plasmid.Inside the mitochondria.
46.DNA replicationoccurs in the cytoplasm.Occurs in the nucleus.
47.Transcription and translationoccur simultaneously.Transcription occurs in the nucleus and then translation occurs in the cytoplasm.


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