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The similarities and differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

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The similarities and differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells All cellular life also contains DNA as its genetic material. Cells contain several varieties of RNA molecules and proteins. Most of the proteins are enzymes. All cells are composed of the same basic chemicals: carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, minerals, fats and vitamins. They also all regulate the flow of nutrients and wastes that enter and leave the cell. All cells undergo and are the result of cell division. Eukaryote means 'the true nucleus', which refers to the large nucleus containing the DNA inside of a membrane. Eukaryotic cells include organisms such as fungi, green plants, animals and proctoctists. These types of cells and organisms appeared 2000 million years ago, and it is more than likely that they evolved from prokaryotic cells.


The chromosomes in a prokaryotic cell are in direct contact with the cytoplasm. In comparison the chromosomes are enclosed in a double-layered nucleus membrane. They also have a much more complicated chromosome structure compared with prokaryotic cells. The cell division that takes place in a prokaryotic cell doesn't involve the process of meiosis. However, a eukaryotic cell will divide using mitosis and meiosis, yet another difference between these two types of cells. If present, then the cell wall of a prokaryotic cell will contain peptidoglycan, which are carbohydrate polymers cross-linked by proteins. In contrast with eukaryotic cells, if a cell wall is present, it will contain cellulose or chitin. Chitin is a polysaccharide, as is glycogen and starch, both similar in chemical structure to cellulose.


The prokaryotic cells only contain one type of ribosome of one size. Flagella, if present in eukaryotic cells, have a complex structure, both structurally and bio chemically. But on the other hand if they are present in prokaryotic cells then they have a much simpler structure. The size of these two types of cells is different too. Eukaryotic cells have up to one thousand times more volume than a prokaryotic cell. Both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells have DNA as their genetic material; they also both contain ribosomes and a membrane bound. They have very similar basic metabolisms. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have evolved. Data supports the theory that prokaryotic cells represent the initial cell type on earth and that the eukaryotic cells have evolved from them. Sian Chesher September

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