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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 z microbiology
Mwelwa Reply
microbiology is all about the scientific study of microorganisms, their life changes, their life span, structural punctuality and their phenomenon.
Ridwan
thanks
micah
Best scope in microbiology
Rahul
what happened when someone died and what happened to the blood
Franca Reply
nice question
Attari
when you die you have no memory and the blood dry off
Falere
what microorganisms is all about?
Ridwan
And how many does the microorganisms is classified?
Ridwan
what is endoparasites and exo parasite and their example
OGEDE Reply
Endo : inside the body Exo/ecto : outside or on the body
Paul
examples please
OGEDE
Louse for exo/ecto Helminths (worms) for endo
Paul
what's prokaryotic
mohaiminul Reply
A prokaryotic cell is a cell with no membrane bounds organelles
Paul
what are the main effect of parasite?
yunusa Reply
nutritional group of micro organism
Mana Reply
what are the charateristic bacteria, eukaryotes, and viruses have in commom
Ami Reply
D N A ar purno rup ki
Ruba Reply
বাংলায় দেখবো DNA এর পূর্রন্যরুপ কি
Ruba
what's microbiology
micah
micro biology is the study of micro organisms,those being unicellular multicellular or a cellular
aniisha
deoxyribonucleic acid is a long molecule that contains our unique genetic code.
aniisha
Does the parasite/parasitology are under microbiology or not
yunusa
Define bacteria
Kainat
Bacteria are a type of biological cell & they constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms.
raisa
what kind of microbiology
Mira
hello what is main function of T and B cells
Ishaq Reply
T cells are involved in cell-mediated immunity while B cells are primarily responsible for humoral immunity (relating to antibodies)
Janet
what is hepatitis B
Sunday
it's viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic diseases. the virus is most commonly transmitted from mother to child during birth and delivery, as well as through contact with blood or other body fluids...
Dejene
What are fundamental experiment of microbiology?
Lucky Reply
study of microscopic organisms, unicellular and multicellular
Falere
what are the characteristics of bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotes
Ami
bacteria-are living organism. contain a peptidoglycan/lipopolysaccharide cell wall. VIRUS-are considered as organic structure which interact with living organism don't have acell wall. they have many differents like bacteria size -large(1000nm) virus size-smaller(20-400nm). bacteria ribosomes presen
Dejene
virus ribosomes absence. bacteria living organism. virus b/n living and non-living things
Dejene
eukaryotic cell has a true membrane bond nucleus and has other membranous organelles that allow for compartmenalization of function
Dejene
This answer is wrong
Jeffrey Reply
who discovered the growth curve
Joy Reply
Example of coccus bacteria
Nweke Reply
staphylococcus aureus
Elton
MRSA any bew information
Satish
pl. read any new information about MRSA
Satish
Any stru tural finding about novel corona virus
Satish
Examples of spiral bacteria
Nweke Reply
Example of Bacillus bacteria
Nweke
pusals
manikanta
another one
Nweke
what is the desifection decontamination or sterilization
Sahra Reply
Is the removal of dangerous substances or germs from an area, objects or person
Florence
It is the removal of any pathogen, including their spores
Paul
removal of all forms of life including endospore
abdulbasid
I think there is a difference between disinfection and sterilization... we should consider those....
Mosimanegape
disinfection deals with removing harmful microbes at the surface level it doesn't destroy or kill spores ( it uses oxidizing agents ,alcohols , phenolic comp ,aldehydes etc) but sterilization deals with total elimination of all forms of lives.(this uses heat, steam, radiation and chemicals)
Onyinye
disinfecting is preventing microorganisms while sterilization is killing of microorganisms completely
Janet

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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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