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Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes :Difference between Prokaryotes & Eukaryotes

Raina Rahul Agarwal 6 Feb, 2023 Education No Comments
Difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes

“Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes are the essential living organism on earth. Prokaryotes are single-celled organisms while Eukaryotes are multicellular organisms. Eukaryotes are made up of cells that have a nucleus.  These differences allow eukaryotes to carry out complex processes e.g photosynthesis and digestion.”

In this post, we will discuss the difference between eukaryotes and prokaryotes in biology.

What Are Prokaryotes?

Prokaryotes are derived from the greek word Gr. pro=primitive or before; karyon=nucleus. From a morphological point of view, prokaryotes are the most primitive cells. They are probably the first to come into existence perhaps 3.5 billion years ago. The prokaryotes developed in Earth’s ancient environment. They were using some chemical energy and the sun’s energy. For millions of years, these extremophiles have thrived through repeated evolution and adaptation. Scientists also believe that these organisms give rise to eukaryotes. A prokaryotic cell is one enveloped system organized in depth. It contains nuclear components DNA molecule, RNA molecule and nuclear protein surrounded by cytoplasmic ground substance.

Difference between prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Prokaryotes are unicellular organisms that lack membrane-bound structures. Prokaryotes are small and simple cells measuring around 0.1-5 um in diameter. A prokaryote is a type of cell that does not have a true nucleus. In prokaryotes, chromosomes are not enclosed within the cell membrane. Prokaryotes are the simplest form of life on earth. It is found in the soil, water and the digestive tract of animals. The cytoplasm of a prokaryotic cell lacks well-defined cytoplasmic organelles such as endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, Centrioles etc.

What Are Eukaryotes?

Difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes

The term Eukaryotes is derived from the greek word eu= good, karotes=Eukaryotes are organisms that contain membrane-bound organelles. It is the basis of every multicellular organism including plants, animals and humans. These membrane-bound organelles are specialized cellular subunits and tend to carry out specific cellular functions such as protein synthesis and energy production. Eukaryotes are large and complex structures measuring about 10-100 um. Eukaryotes are definite nuclei. The chromatin bodies are enclosed by a nuclear membrane. Both sexual and asexual divisions occur in eukaryotes. The Eukaryotic cells have different shapes, sizes and physiology.

What Are The Difference Between Prokaryotes And Eukaryotes Cells?

Difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes

  • The main difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes organisms is that nucleus and membrane-bound organelles are present in the eukaryotes but absent in prokaryotes organisms.
  • Prokaryotes are unicellular organisms but eukaryotes are multicellular organisms. Additionally, eukaryotes are larger and more complex structures than prokaryotes.
  • In Eukaryotes DNA, the genetic material of an organism is present in the nucleus but in prokaryotes, DNA is present in the cytoplasm. In eukaryotes, DNA is stored in double-stranded chromosomes that are condensed by histones but in prokaryotes, they have a primary circular chromosome and various plasmids.
  • The ribosomes that are present in eukaryotes are 80 s with the 40s and 60s and in prokaryotes, ribosomes are present in 50 s in the 70s and 30s.
  • Eukaryotic undergo mitosis and meiosis, but prokaryotes undergo binary fission for cell division.
Prokaryotes Vs Eukaryotes

What Are Similarities Between Eukaryotes And Prokaryotes

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes are similar in these features:

  1. Genetic Material
  2. Ribosomes
  3. Cytoplasm
  4. Plasma Membrane


In conclusion, prokaryotes and eukaryotes are different and similar in many ways. An aspect of this relationship is that prokaryotes do not have a nucleus, unlike eukaryotes. Moreover, prokaryotes retain a single chromosome while eukaryotes have multiple chromosomes. Prokaryotes can also survive in extreme conditions, unlike eukaryotes.


Raina Rahul Agarwal

A Non-Medical Scientist, BSL-2 Lab, Mirzapur

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