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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

What are antibodies?
Happy Reply
they are immune cells that are released by immune system to fight strangers like microbes
Ahmed
a blood protien produce in response to an counteracting a specific antigen
Pooja
Why salmonella typhi is harmful protozoan?
Saily Reply
because make typhoid that is considered as a food born illness
Ahmed
Name any five modes of transmission.
Happy
what are the scientific names and common names of some microbes
Rich Reply
Staphylococcus aureus - staph Streptococcus pyogenes - strep Botulism - Clostridium botulinum Rocky Mountain spotted fever - Rickettsia rickettsii Diphtheria - Corynebacterium diphtheriae Gonorrhea - Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Tammy
what are the limitations of the Koch's postulate
Naa
how a microorganism growth.
Zubair Reply
Is foetus a parasite to his or her mother? if yes and if no ho
Mashauri Reply
y
Yusri
yes
Yashkin
yes
Zubair
yes it a parasite to the mother because it feeds on the mother for survival
Beatrice
yes
Redwan
no
Elasha
definition of a parasite: an organism that lives in or on an organism of ANOTHER species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other's expense
Elasha
no because an organism can inky be a parasite if it causes harm to its HOST. And the fetus does not cause harm to its mother under normal conditions
aliyu
yes
Naa
what is biosensor in microbiology
Raja Reply
What are biosensor
Raja
what's are biosensor
Raja
what is microbiology defination
Rinku Reply
microbiology is the study of small or manuit organisms which cannot be seen with our nacked eyes unless with the aid of the microscope
Brandina
is the study of living organisms which are not directly visible to a direct eye but can only be seen under a microscope
Ipa
ok
Ipa
microbiology is the study of living organisms of microscopic size it is also the study of micro organisms with their form structure reproduction psychology metabolism and classification
Priyanka
what are the importances of Microbiology?
Erick Reply
don't know
SINGLE
we obtained the insulin from the bacteria. and some microorganisms are decomposer in ecosystems.
Zubair
nitrogen in the air is fixed into the soil by microbes example is nitrobactor
Matilda
yes
Zubair
how a weak immune region where microorganisms attack easily?
Zubair Reply
with examples differentiate gram positive from gram negative bacteria
Mary Reply
Differentiate gram positive from gram negative
Mary
I have no idea
Zubair
hello
Kuonain
and example of gram negative is E. coli
Pooja
gram positive stain purple when subjected to gram stain whilst gram positive bacterial has thick wall composed of peptidoglycan
Matilda
ok
Zubair
what is a process of gene expression in eukaryotes ?
Nayyab Reply
pls help us with the answer
Abdussalam
spontaneous generation means
Siddhi Reply
hiii
Siddhi
Hello
eman
So, what's next 😂
eman
I have a problem with Micro
eman
I studying things and see question Some thing else
eman
Can u help me, please
eman
What i havta do
eman
firsfall when you studying understand things...
Siddhi
good afternoon dear Friends
yaya
Greeting to everyone in here.
Manka
There is a problem. I need a diagram of a virus with it functions.
Manka
structure of bacterial
Kuyiba
gghhhh
Zubair
group plz i need help in microbio
Kuonain
it really difficult fr me
Kuonain
kashur cha kah
suhail
sorry now I read in class 8th but I can help u
Zubair
Me too. It's very difficult for me
Angela
rod shape
Priyanka
helical
Priyanka
Hello
esike
spherical
Priyanka
peomorphic
Priyanka
I am ryt or not
Priyanka
hi
suhail
hello
DIPTI
Are we together pls what's the topic for the day?
esike
what is innate
Lizzy
innate means natural
Pooja
the genetic makeup of an individual
Matilda
pls i need the common names for the following parasites..ENTEROBIUS VERMICULARIS,NECATOR AMERICANUS,ASCARIES LUMBRICOIDES,TRICHURIS TRICHIURA,TRICHOMONAS VAGINALIS,GIARDIA LAMBLIA,ENTAMOEBA HISTOLYTICA,SCHISTOSOMA MANSONI,SCHISTOSOMAHEMATOBIUM,STROGYLOIDES STERCORALIS,AND TRAPANOSOMA BRUCI GAMBIENSE
timothy
ENTEROBIUS VERMICULARIS and STROGYLOIDES STERCORALIS have the same common name which is pin worm and thread worm
Chinedu
I didn't find the common names for TRICHOMONAS VAGINALIS, GIARDIA LAMBLIA, ENTAMOEBA HISTOLYTICA, TRYPANOSOMA BRUCEI GAMBIENSE
Chinedu
NECATOR AMERICANUS - New world hookworm ASCARIS LUMBRICOIDES- Ascarid TRICHURIS TRICHIURA- Whip worm
Chinedu
Hi guys
Chinedu
Why are myeloblasts not present in the bloodstream?
Chinedu
thank u
Dasaah
is blood from capillary puncture suitable for hormonal assays
NANCY Reply
Direct this question to a hematologist for a better answer please.
LAFIA
In most cases the blood is necessary but it's limited from my own Analysis
Lee
u can do but it depends on your sampling blood its enev or not
Ali
Control indications of cipro, doxicyclin, setracyclin, cloxacyclin, erythromycin
Oslen Reply
oo
babinthe
what is sims position
babinthe Reply

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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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