What are prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

What are prokaryotes and eukaryotes?

Prokaryotes and eukaryotes - comparison

In the table below are the Properties of prokaryotes and eukaryotes in comparison shown.

We'll show you again under the table all differences and similarities between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in writing.

Cell nucleusno nucleusCell nucleus present
size1-2 µmup to 100 µm
Cell membrane

Lipid bilayer with embedded proteins

Lipid bilayer with embedded proteins
Locomotion organFlagellum


Cell wallavailable
  • present in plant cells
  • not present in animal cells
Location of the genetic materialexposed in the cytoplasmin the nucleus
  • endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
  • Golgi apparat
  • Cell nucleus
  • Lysosomes
  • Mitochondria
  • Vacuoles
  • Peroxisomes
  • Plastids (only in plants & algae / e.g. chloroplasts)
  • Ribosomes

Prokaryotes and eukaryotes - differences

Prokaryotes do not have one Cell nucleus, whereas eukaryotes have a cell nucleus and their genetic material or DNA is stored there. The genome of the prokaryotes is free in the cytoplasm. Another difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is that size. Prokaryotes are about 1–2 µm in size and eukaryotes up to 100 µm.

In addition, prokaryotes have another Locomotion organ, namely the flagellum, as eukaryotes that use a flagellum for locomotion. A Cell wall possess both cellular organisms, with one exception: In animal cells (eukaryotes) there is no cell wall.

Regarding the Cell organelles Prokaryotes and eukaryotes differ just as clearly: While prokaryotes have a vacuole and ribosomes, eukaryotic cells have far more diversity in terms of cell organelles. In addition to the cell nucleus, the following can be found: the endoplasmic reticulum, a Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, mitochondria, vacuoles, peroxisomes, plastids and ribosomes.

At this point we have come to the similarities between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes - Similarities

Vacuoles and ribosomes can be found in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Another common feature can be found in Structure of the cell membrane: Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells have a lipid bilayer. Proteins are characteristic of this bilayer. They cross the double layer and take on two important functions: transport and communication.

In addition, eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells have DNA as a Genetic information. The DNA of the prokaryotes is in the cytoplasm and of the eukaryotes in the nucleus.

Now you have everything you need to know Subject eukaryotes and prokaryotes learned. Besides, you have the important ones Differences and similarities got to know. In the Exercises you can now test and apply your new knowledge. We wish you a lot Success and fun.