Difference between prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Living organisms are divided into two groups based on the fundamental structure of their cells. Although usually speaking the difference between animal and plant cell ; that is if cells are also classified as prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

Here we tell you the differences between Eukaryotic Cells and Prokaryotes .

Table of Contents


It is derived from the Greek word “œeukaryote”. This cell is constituted to the living beings of all the kingdoms. In addition to having a delimited core. In this case the process of cell division occurs in two ways:

  • Meiosis, where sexual reproduction is required.
  • Mitosis, is the dividing cell to produce two genetically identical cells.

The DNA is contained in the nucleus of these cells and is structured and organized in chromosomes, in this way all animals are constituted by eukaryotic cells; including humans.


The word procariota is derived from the Greek “prokaryota”. They are all those that lack a cell nucleus, mitochondria or other organelles  . This means that genetic material as well as DNA is known. It is dispersed in the cytoplasm.

Usually most of the organisms constituted by this type of cell have only one of these and are called unicellular organisms,except for some cases such as myxobacteria , some of which have multicellular stages in their life cycle.   Compartmentalization is also common in the prokaryotic world in the form of compartments bounded by proteins and other delimited by lipids. They are microorganisms that possess a single chromosome called nucleoid , its reproduction are asexual by binary fission other cases they create large colonies, as in cyanobacteria .

Living things, which are made up of prokaryotic cells, are divided into two groups:

  • Archaea
  • Bacteria.


In short we tell you the differences between cell eukaryote and prokaryote .

  • DNA in prokaryotic cells has a circular circuit, on the other hand eukaryotes is linear.
  • Those that have nucleus are eukaryotic cells, while prokaryotes are not.
  • Eukaryotic cells are larger than prokaryotes.
  • The organisms with prokaryotic cells are unicellular, whereas those with eukaryotic cells are multicellular.
  • Those that always have cytoskeleton are eukaryotic cells, while prokaryotes are not.
  • Cell division of prokaryotic cells is produced by binary fission; on the other hand the eukaryotes can be given by mitosis or meiosis.
  • Prokaryotic cells have mesosomes, whereas eukaryotic cells do not.
  • All reproduction in the prokaryotic cells is always asexual, while the eukaryotes can be asexual or sexual.

Here is a table with some additional differences

Prokaryotic cells                                                                       Eukaryotic cells

DNA located in a region: Nucleoid , not surrounded by a membrane. Core surrounded by a membrane. Fragmented genetic material on chromosomes made up of DNA and proteins.
Small cells 1-10 ?m Usually large cells, (10-100 ?m), some are microbes, most are large organisms.
Direct cell division, mainly by binary fission. There are no centrioles, mitotic spindles or microtubules.

Scarce sexual systems, if there is sexual intercourse is given by transferring a donor to a recipient.

Cell division by mitosis, presents mitotic spindle, or some form of microtubule array.

Frequent sexual systems. Alternation of haploid and diploid phases through Meiosis and Fertilization

Few multicellular forms

Absence of tissue development

Multicellular organisms show tissue development
Strict, facultative, microarerophilic and aerobic anaerobic forms Almost exclusively aerobic
Absence of mitochondria: the enzymes for the oxidation of organic molecules are bound to the membranes The enzymes are in mitochondria
Simple flagella formed by flagellin protein Composite flagella, (9 + 2) formed by tubulin and other proteins
In photosynthetic species, the necessary enzymes are bound to the membranes. Exit of aerobic and anaerobic photosynthesis, with final products such as sulfur, sulfate and oxygen Enzymes for photosynthesis are packaged in chloroplasts.


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