Every living organism drops into one of two groups: eukaryotes or prokaryotes. Cellular structure determines which team an biology belongs to. In this article, us will explain in detail what prokaryotes and also eukaryotes are and also outline the differences in between the two.

Prokaryote definition

Prokaryotes room unicellular biology that lack membrane-bound structures, the many noteworthy of i beg your pardon is the nucleus. Prokaryotic cells often tend to be small, basic cells, measuring about 0.1-5 μm in diameter.


While prokaryotes cells carry out not have actually membrane-bound structures, they perform have distinctive cellular regions. In prokaryotic cells, DNA bundles together in a region called the nucleoid.

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Prokaryotic cell features

Here is a failure of what you might find in a prokaryotic bacterial cell.

A main region of the cell that contains its DNA. Ribosome: Ribosomes are responsible because that protein synthesis. Cell wall: The cell wall surface provides structure and also protection native the exterior environment. Most bacteria have a rigid cell wall surface made indigenous carbohydrates and proteins dubbed peptidoglycans. Cell membrane: Every prokaryote has actually a cell membrane, also known together the plasma membrane, that separates the cell from the outside environment. Capsule: some bacteria have a class of carbohydrates the surrounds the cell wall surface called the capsule. The capsule helps the bacterium connect to surfaces. Fimbriae: Fimbriae space thin, hair-like frameworks that help with moving attachment. Pili: Pili space rod-shaped structures associated in many roles, consisting of attachment and also DNA transfer. Flagella: Flagella are thin, tail-like structures that assist in movement.

Examples of prokaryotes

Bacteria and archaea room the two varieties of prokaryotes.

Do prokaryotes have mitochondria?

No, prokaryotes execute not have mitochondria. Mitochondria space only found in eukaryotic cells. This is likewise true of various other membrane-bound structures prefer the nucleus and also the Golgi device (more on this later).One concept for eukaryotic development hypothesizes that mitochondria were an initial prokaryotic cell that lived inside other cells. End time, evolution led come these separate organisms functioning together a solitary organism in the type of a eukaryote.

Eukaryote definition

Eukaryotes space organisms who cells have a nucleus and other organelles fastened by a plasma membrane. Organelles are internal structures responsible for a range of functions, together as energy production and also protein synthesis.


The key structures present in a eukaryotic bio cell.

Eukaryotic cells are big (around 10-100 μm) and also complex. While many eukaryotes room multicellular organisms, there room some single-cell eukaryotes.

Eukaryotic cell features

Within a eukaryotic bio cell, each membrane-bound framework carries out particular cellular functions. Below is summary of plenty of of the primary contents of eukaryotic cells.

The nucleus shop the hereditary information in dyed form. Nucleolus: discovered inside that the nucleus, the nuclear source is the component of eukaryotic cells whereby ribosomal RNA is produced.Plasma membrane: The plasma membrane is a phospholipid double layer that surrounds the entire cell and encompasses the oribel within.Cytoskeleton or cell wall: The cytoskeleton or cell wall provides structure, permits for cell movement, and also plays a role in cabinet division. Ribosomes: Ribosomes space responsible because that protein synthesis. Mitochondria: Mitochondria, also known together the powerhouses of the cell, are responsible for energy production.Cytoplasm: The cytoplasm is the region of the cell in between the nuclear envelope and also plasma membrane. Cytosol: Cytosol is a gel-like substance in ~ the cabinet that includes the organelles. Endoplasmic reticulum: The absorbent reticulum is one organelle specialized to protein maturation and also transportation. Vesicles and vacuoles: Vesicles and also vacuoles are membrane-bound sacs connected in transportation and storage.

Other usual organelles discovered in many, however not all, eukaryotes incorporate the Golgi apparatus, chloroplasts and also lysosomes.

Examples that eukaryotes

Animals, plants, fungi, algae and also protozoans room all eukaryotes.

Comparing prokaryotes and eukaryotes

All life top top Earth is composed of either eukaryotic bio cells or prokaryotes cells. Prokaryotes were the very first form that life. Scientists believe that eukaryotes advanced from prokaryotes about 2.7 billion years ago.The primary distinction between these two varieties of organisms is that eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus and also prokaryotic cells do not. The nucleus is where eukaryotes keep their genetic information. In prokaryotes, DNA is bundled together in the new closed region, but it is not stored in ~ a membrane-bound nucleus.The cell nucleus is just one of countless membrane-bound oribel in eukaryotes. Prokaryotes, ~ above the various other hand, have actually no membrane-bound organelles. One more important difference is the DNA structure. Eukaryotic bio DNA consists of multiple molecules of double-stranded straight DNA, while that of prokaryotes is double-stranded and circular.

Key similarities between prokaryotes and eukaryotes


A comparison reflecting the shared and also unique attributes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes

All cells, whether prokaryotes or eukaryotic, re-publishing these four features:

1. DNA

2. Plasma membrane

3. Cytoplasm

4. Ribosomes

Transcription and translation in prokaryotes vs eukaryotes

In prokaryotic cells, transcription and translation space coupled, an interpretation translation starts during mRNA synthesis.In eukaryotic cells, transcription and also translation space not coupled. Transcription occurs in the nucleus, creating mRNA. The mRNA climate exits the nucleus, and also translation occurs in the cell’s cytoplasm.

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What are the vital differences in between prokaryotes and also eukaryotes?

Prokaryotes and also eukaryotes vary in several essential ways - these distinctions include structural variation - whether a cell nucleus is existing or absent, and whether the cell has membrane-bound organelles, and molecular variation, consisting of whether the DNA is in a circular or linear form. The differences are summary in the table below.
Membrane-bound organellesAbsentPresent
Cell structureUnicellularMostly multicellular; some unicellular
Cell sizeSmaller (0.1-5 μm)Larger (10-100 μm)
ComplexitySimplerMore complex
DNA FormCircularLinear
ExamplesBacteria, archaeaAnimals, plants, fungi, protists