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Similarities Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

These are two types of cells that make up living organisms. This article will cover all the similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells...

Last Updated On: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

 
 

The basic unit of life is cell. The living organisms are divided into two groups on the basis of their cellular structure. The two groups are known as prokaryotic and eukaryotic. The prokaryotes evolved 2 billion years before the evolution of eukaryotes. About 4.5 billion years ago, our planet Earth was formed. Then about 3.5 billion years ago the first life on earth, a prokaryotic bacteria dominated the planet. After a lot many years, about 1.5 billion years ago, a nucleated cell evolved, known as eukaryotic. The Cambarian explosion about 0.5 billion years ago, it helped in the evolution of multicellular organisms. Know more on human evolution.

Animals, plants, fungi, protozoans and algae, all come under the eukaryotic cells and bacteria are the only organisms that are prokaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells are smaller than the eukaryotic cells. The prokaryotic cell is far more simpler in structure as compared to the eukaryotic cells. The prokaryotic cells have a large surface-to-volume ratio, that helps the nutrients to easily and rapidly reach any interior parts of the cell. The eukaryotic cells have a limited surface area than volume, thus, making it very difficult for the nutrients to readily diffuse in the interior part of the cells. Thus, the eukaryote have complex organs that help them carry out metabolism and other important functions for the survival of the organism. Although, the cells are different in many ways, the main similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is survival of the organism and carrying out same process of life. There are many other similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Let us have a look at the similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Similarities

Labelled Diagram of Prokaryotic Cell

Labelled Diagram of Eukaryotic Cell


There are many other cell types in different forms like the neurons, epithelial cells, muscle cells, etc. But prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are the only two true cell structures and types. The following points will cover the main similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have in common the genetic material, that is, presence of DNA

  • Along with DNA, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have in common the presence of RNA

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, both have a cell membrane covering them

  • The prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells similarities are seen in their basic chemical structures. Both are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acid, minerals, fats and vitamins

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have in common ribosomes, that are the structures that make up proteins

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells regulate the flow of nutrients and waste matter that enters and leaves the cells

  • Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells both carry out the basic life process, that is, photosynthesis and reproduction.

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells need energy supply to survive

  • Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells both have 'chemical noses' that keeps them updated and aware of all the reactions that occur within them and in the surrounding environment

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have in common a fluid-like matrix called the cytoplasm that fills the cells.

  • Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells both have a cytoskeleton within the cell to support them

  • Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells, both have a thin extension of the plasma membrane. It is supported by the cytoskeleton. It is observed in the flagella and cilia in eukaryotic cells and flagella, endoflagella, fimbriae and pili in prokaryotic cells. This is used for motility, adhering to surfaces or moving matter outside the cells.

  • Some prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have in common glycocalyces. This is a sugar based structure that is sticky and helps the cells in anchoring to each other, thus, giving them some protection.

  • Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells, both have lipid bilayer known as the plasma layer that forms the boundary between the inside and outside of the cell.

These are a few similarities between the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. There are many differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells of which age and structure are the main attributes. The prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells similarities are seen, as it is believed by scientists that eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotic cells. In short, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are the smallest units of life without which their would be no life.

 

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