Compare and contrast prokaryotes and eukaryotes?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prokaryotic cells are those cells which lack a nucleus as well as membrane-bound cellular organelles. Everything is free-floating inside the cell, including DNA and its sites of metabolic activity. Prokaryotes consist of cells that are spherical, rod-shaped, spiral-shaped and comma-shaped.  Prokaryotes inhabit nearly everywhere on Earth including some extreme environments where Prokarya and Bacteria may thrive such as high salt, high temperature, etc. In the 3 domain classification system of life, Archaea and Bacteria are both Prokaryotes. The third group is called Eukarya. This group contains cells which have complex organelles enclosed within membranes as well as a true nucleus, within which the genetic material can be found. This group includes plants, animals, fungi, protists. Eukaryotic cells are typically larger than Prokaryotic cells. Their organelles including mitochondria, chloroplasts, vacuoles, perform specific life functions. These cells also possess microfilaments and tubules that help support and organize the cell. Eukaryotic DNA is arranged in chromosomes, and during mitotic cell division, a spindle composed of microtubules helps separate them into two daughter cells. These are basic differences between the two cell types.

melonsmasher | Student

- prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus and eukaryotic cells do.
- prokaryotic cells lack some organelles and eukaryotic cells do not.
- prokaryotic cells are not found in humans and eukaryotic cells are.
- prokaryotic cells are always unicellular and eukaryotic cells are often   multicellular.
- prokaryotic cells reproduce/divide by binary fission and eukaryotic       cells reproduce/divide by mitosis/meiosis.

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