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Learning objectives

  • Explain the distinguishing characteristics of eukaryotic cells
  • Describe internal and external structures of prokaryotic cells in terms of their physical structure, chemical structure, and function
  • Identify and describe structures and organelles unique to eukaryotic cells
  • Compare and contrast similar structures found in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

Eukaryotic organisms include protozoans, algae, fungi, plants, and animals. Some eukaryotic cells are independent, single-celled microorganisms, whereas others are part of multicellular organisms. The cells of eukaryotic organisms have several distinguishing characteristics. Above all, eukaryotic cells are defined by the presence of a nucleus surrounded by a complex nuclear membrane. Also, eukaryotic cells are characterized by the presence of membrane-bound organelles in the cytoplasm. Organelles such as mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, and peroxisomes are held in place by the cytoskeleton , an internal network that supports transport of intracellular components and helps maintain cell shape ( [link] ). The genome of eukaryotic cells is packaged in multiple, rod-shaped chromosomes as opposed to the single, circular-shaped chromosome that characterizes most prokaryotic cells. [link] compares the characteristics of eukaryotic cell structures with those of bacteria and archaea.

A diagram of a large cell. The outside of the cell is a thin line labeled plasma membrane. A long projection outside of the plasma membrane is labeled flagellum. Shorter projections outside the membrane are labeled cilia. Just under the plasma membrane are lines labeled microtubules and microfilaments. The fluid inside the plasma membrane is labeled cytoplasm. In the cytoplasm are small dots labeled ribosomes. These dots are  either floating in the cytoplasm or attached to a webbed membrane labeled rough endoplasmic reticulum. Some regions of the webbed membrane do not have dots; these regions of the membrane are called smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Other structures in the cytoplasm include an oval with a webbed line inside of it; this is labeled the mitochondrion. Spheres in the cytoplasm are labeled peroxisome and lysosome. A pancake stack of membranes is labeled golgi complex. Two short tubes are labeled centrosomes. A large sphere in the cell is labeled nucleus. The outer membrane of this sphere is the nuclear envelope. Holes in the nuclear envelope are called nuclear pores. A smaller sphere in the nucleus is labeled nucleolus.
An illustration of a generalized, single-celled eukaryotic organism. Note that cells of eukaryotic organisms vary greatly in terms of structure and function, and a particular cell may not have all of the structures shown here.
Summary of Cell Structures
Cell Structure Prokaryotes Eukaryotes
Bacteria Archaea
Size ~0.5–1 μM ~0.5–1 μM ~5–20 μM
Surface area-to-volume ratio High High Low
Nucleus No No Yes
Genome characteristics
  • Single chromosome
  • Circular
  • Haploid
  • Lacks histones
  • Single chromosome
  • Circular
  • Haploid
  • Contains histones
  • Multiple chromosomes
  • Linear
  • Haploid or diploid
  • Contains histones
Cell division Binary fission Binary fission Mitosis, meiosis
Membrane lipid composition
  • Ester-linked
  • Straight-chain fatty acids
  • Bilayer
  • Ether-linked
  • Branched isoprenoids
  • Bilayer or monolayer
  • Ester-linked
  • Straight-chain fatty acids
  • Sterols
  • Bilayer
Cell wall composition
  • Peptidoglycan, or
  • None
  • Pseudopeptidoglycan, or
  • Glycopeptide, or
  • Polysaccharide, or
  • Protein (S-layer), or
  • None
  • Cellulose (plants, some algae)
  • Chitin (molluscs, insects, crustaceans, and fungi)
  • Silica (some algae)
  • Most others lack cell walls
Motility structures Rigid spiral flagella composed of flagellin Rigid spiral flagella composed of archaeal flagellins Flexible flagella and cilia composed of microtubules
Membrane-bound organelles No No Yes
Endomembrane system No No Yes (ER, Golgi, lysosomes)
Ribosomes 70S 70S
  • 80S in cytoplasm and rough ER
  • 70S in mitochondria, chloroplasts

Cell morphologies

Eukaryotic cells display a wide variety of different cell morphologies . Possible shapes include spheroid, ovoid, cuboidal, cylindrical, flat, lenticular, fusiform, discoidal, crescent, ring stellate, and polygonal ( [link] ). Some eukaryotic cells are irregular in shape, and some are capable of changing shape. The shape of a particular type of eukaryotic cell may be influenced by factors such as its primary function, the organization of its cytoskeleton, the viscosity of its cytoplasm, the rigidity of its cell membrane or cell wall (if it has one), and the physical pressure exerted on it by the surrounding environment and/or adjoining cells.

Questions & Answers

Types of micro organisms
Jennifer Reply
Who discovered plant and animal cell
Jennifer
Robert Hooke
Martha
Father of microbiology
Jennifer Reply
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Satarupa
Why are mitochondria and chloroplasts unable to multiply outside of a host cell?
Iqra Reply
iqra mitochondria arises from the division of existing mitochondria and they are fused together. they move around inside the cell with the interactions of the cytoskeleton that's why mitochondria unable to multiply outside the host cells chloroplasts has its own separate DNA from the plant cell.
Rana
short not on medical microbiology
Massah Reply
Hy
Iqra
hope you fine
Arif
love you
Arif
Assalamualaikum
Suhaib
arai yeh micro kai sth kis ko love hua
Umer
icrobiology is the scientific study of these microorganisms. Microorganisms are those organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye and include things like bacteria, fungi, and viruses
Suhaib
iqra iqbal
Arif
What is gram syaining?
Arif
to differentiate between gram positive and gram negative bacty
Umer
True
Arif
where you are from
Arif
i m frm sopore..kashmir
Umer
i m frm baramulla .. Kashmir
Umer
and u
Umer
umer
Arif
and i m from afghanistan lovely country
Arif
yes
Umer
thanks
Arif
medical microbiology means study of microorganisms which are beneficial or harmful for the body. mostly which are studied under microscope by structure and shape appearance. e.g bacteria, viruses, bacteriophage, fungus hyphae and some blood and other body fluids parasites e.g plasmodium etc.
Rana
arif bhai gram staining in which we are given different dyes to the bacterial cell wall and cytoplasm and nucleus.e.g giemsa stain
Rana
Gram staining uses crystal violet to stain cell walls iodine as a mordant and a fuchsin or safranin counterstain to mark all bacteria
Umer
Gram staining uses crystal violet to stain cell walls iodine as a mordant and a fuchsin or safranin counterstain to mark all bacteria
Umer
Gram staining uses crystal violet to stain cell walls iodine as a mordant and a fuchsin or safranin counterstain to mark all bacteria
Umer
Omar baba crystal violet iodine 70% alcohol fuchicine or safranine after every step washing must be done
Rana
hello
Cristy
*Fuchsin stain
Cristy
*Safranin
Cristy
thanks
Ganesh
difference between epidermophyton trichophyton and microsporum
Ankita Reply
plz answer the question
Iqra
epidermophyton type of fungi causes superficial and cutaneous mycoses trichophyton is also fungi type including parasitic varieties causes dermatophytosis microsporum is also type of fungi causes dermatophytosis.
Rana
ok
Iqra
Is this app perfect for preparation of exam?
Ankita
Ankita I totally disagree with your respected opinion. it's just minor helpful
Rana
disagree by me ?
Ankita
what is infectious
Fred Reply
Many poeple are die due to covid-19 virus
AMINU Reply
they become sick due to millions bacteria, fungi and some insects that make plants as their host.
charles Reply
what are microbes and what are their effects to humans
charles Reply
they are organism that cannot be seen with the naked eye
Angel
classify microorganisms.
Satarupa Reply
protozoa' bacteria' virus' algai' archea'
Cabdifitaax
protozoa
Ayesha
Thank you
Satarupa
bacteria,fungi, protozoa and virus
Angel
mutant having a requirement for a certain growth factor is called a(n)
Purushoth Reply
what is atome
Marie Reply
is the smallest part of any material that cannot be broken up by chemical means
Feisal
How does forest tree become sick
Emmanuel
Aseptate hyphae are seen in
lab Reply
yes
Ahmed
w
Ahmed
hello
Apdikrim
what is ADT
Feisal
hii
Salman
how does this work bro
Feisal
CHEMISTRY
Apdikrim
biology
Ahmed
I.m student
Ahmed
I.m question what is difference between arthropod and insect?
Ahmed
Arthropod is a large division of jointed-foot Invertebrates such as Insects, centipedes and others so Insect is a part of the division or the phylum
hilina
thanks
Ahmed
ur welcome
hilina
describe binary fission
Queen Reply
in which parent cell devides into two daughter cells
Iqra
single parent cell
Tean
who is the father of microbiology
Mary Reply
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek , he is father of microbiology and Louis Pasteur is father of modern microbioloy.
Arshad
Anton van leeuwenhoek ( He descovered bacteria in 1679)
Satarupa
what is the contriyo sachilden and sachwan in cell thoery
Iqra

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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