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Chapter 1: Types of Cells

The major differences between Prokaryotic and Eukarotic cells are that prokaryotes don't have a nucleus and rarely have membrane bound organelles, (the only exception I have heard of is bacteria with vacuoles). The both do have DNA for genetic material, have a exterior membrane, have ribosomes, accomplish similar functions, and are very diverse. For instance, there are over 200 types of cells in the human body, that very greatly in size, shape, and function.


Prokaryotes are cells without a nucleus. They have genetic materials but are not enclosed within a membrane. These include bacteria and cyanophytes. The genetic material is a single circular DNA and is contained in the cytoplasm, since there is no nucleus. Recombination happens through transfers of plasmids (short circles of DNA that pass from one bacterium to another). They do not engulf solids nor do they have centrioles or asters. There are pictures of 2 prokaryotes below. Prokaryotes have a cell wall made up of peptidoglycan.


These are cells with a nucleus, this is where the genetic material is surrounded by a membrane much like the cells membrane. Eucaryotic cells are found in humans and other multicellular organisms (plants and animals) also algae, protazoa. They have both a cellular membrane and a nuclear membrane, also the genetic material forms multiple chromosomes, that is linear and complexed with proteins that help it 'pack' and is involved in regulation.

Eukaryotes are composed of both plant and animal cells. Plants vary from animal cells in that they have large vacuoles, cell wall, chloroplasts, and a lack of lysosomes, centrioles, pseudopods, and flagella or cilia. Animal cells do not have the chloroplasts, and may or may not have cilia, pseudopods or flagella, depending on the type of cell.

A eukaryote (/juːˈkæri.t/ yoo-KARR-ee-oht) is any organism whose cells contain a nucleus and other structures (organelles) enclosed within membranes. Eukaryotes are formally the taxon Eukarya or Eukaryota. The defining membrane-bound structure that sets eukaryotic cells apart from prokaryotic cells is the nucleus, or nuclear envelope, within which the genetic material is contained. [3][4][5] The presence of a nucleus gives eukaryotes their name, which comes from the Greek ευ (eu, "well") and κάρυον (karyon, "nut" or "kernel"). [6] Most eukaryotic cells also contain other membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria or the Golgi apparatus. In addition, plants and algae contain chloroplasts. Many unicellular organisms are eukaryotes, such as protozoa. All multicellular organisms are eukaryotes, including animals, plants and fungi.

Cell division in eukaryotes is different from that in organisms without a nucleus (Prokaryote). There are two types of division processes. In mitosis, one cell divides to produce two genetically identical cells. In meiosis, which is required in sexual reproduction, one diploid cell (having two

instances of each chromosome, one from each parent) undergoes recombination of each pair of parental chromosomes, and then two stages of cell division, resulting in four haploid cells (gametes). Each gamete has just one complement of chromosomes, each a unique mix of the corresponding pair of parental chromosomes.

The domain Eukaryota appears to be monophyletic, and so makes up one of the three domains of life. The two other domains, Bacteria and Archaea, are prokaryotes and have none of the above features. Eukaryotes represent a tiny minority of all living things; [7] even in a human body there are 10 times more microbes than human cells. [8] However, due to their much larger size, their collective worldwide biomass is estimated at about equal to that of prokaryotes. [9] Eukaryotes first developed approximately 1.62.1 billion years ago.

Cell features

Eukaryotic cells are typically much larger than those of prokaryotes. They have a variety of internal membranes and structures, called organelles, and a cytoskeleton composed of microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments, which play an important role in defining the cell's organization and shape. Eukaryotic DNA is divided into several linear bundles called chromosomes, which are separated by a microtubular spindle during nuclear division.

Internal membrane

Eukaryote cells include a variety of membrane-bound structures, collectively referred to as the endomembrane system. [10] Simple compartments, called vesicles or vacuoles, can form by budding off other membranes. Many cells ingest food and other materials through a process of endocytosis, where the outer membrane invaginates and then pinches off to form a vesicle. It is probable that most other membrane-bound organelles are ultimately derived from such vesicles.

The nucleus is surrounded by a double membrane (commonly referred to as a nuclear envelope), with pores that allow material to move in and out. Various tube- and sheet-like extensions of the nuclear membrane form what is called the endoplasmic reticulum or ER, which is involved in protein transport and maturation. It includes the rough ER where ribosomes are attached to synthesize proteins, which enter the interior space or lumen. Subsequently, they generally enter vesicles, which bud off from the smooth ER. In most eukaryotes, these protein-carrying vesicles are released and further modified in stacks of flattened vesicles, called Golgi bodies or dictyosomes.

Vesicles may be specialized for various purposes. For instance, lysosomes contain enzymes that break down the contents of food vacuoles, and peroxisomes are used to break down peroxide, which is toxic otherwise. Many protozoa have contractile vacuoles, which collect and expel excess water, and extrusomes, which expel material used to deflect predators or capture prey. In higher plants, most of a cell's volume is taken up by a central vacuole, which primarily maintains its osmotic pressure.

Mitochondria and plastids

Mitochondria are organelles found in nearly all eukaryotes. [11] They are surrounded by two membranes (each a phospholipid bi-layer), the inner of which is folded into invaginations called cristae, where aerobic respiration takes place. Mitochondria contain their own DNA. They are now generally held to have developed from endosymbiotic prokaryotes, probably proteobacteria. The few protozoa that lack mitochondria have been found to contain mitochondrion-derived organelles, such as hydrogenosomes and mitosomes; and thus probably lost the mitochondria secondarily.

Plants and various groups of algae also have plastids. Again, these have their own DNA and developed from endosymbiotes, in this case cyanobacteria. They usually take the form of chloroplasts, which like cyanobacteria contain chlorophyll and produce organic compounds (such as glucose) through photosynthesis. Others are involved in storing food. Although plastids likely had a single origin, not all plastid-containing groups are closely related. Instead, some eukaryotes have obtained them from others through secondary endosymbiosis or ingestion.

Endosymbiotic origins have also been proposed for the nucleus, for which see below, and for eukaryotic flagella, supposed to have developed from spirochaetes. [clarification needed] This is not generally accepted, both from a lack of cytological evidence and difficulty in reconciling this with cellular reproduction.

Cell wall Further information: Cell wall

The cells of plants, fungi, and most chromalveolates have a cell wall, a layer outside the cell membrane, providing the cell with structural support, [citation needed] protection, and a filtering mechanism. The cell wall also prevents over-expansion when water enters the cell.

The major polysaccharides making up the primary cell wall of land plants are cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. The cellulose microfibrils are linked via hemicellulosic tethers to form the cellulose-hemicellulose network, which is embedded in the pectin matrix. The most common hemicellulose in the primary cell wall is xyloglucan.

The prokaryotes are a group of organisms whose cells lack a membrane-bound nucleus (karyon). Those organisms whose cells have a well defined membrane bound nucleus and organelles are called eukaryotes. Most prokaryotes are unicellular organisms, although a few such as myxobacteria have multicellular stages in their life cycles [1] or create large colonies like cyanobacteria. The word prokaryote comes from the Greek πρό- (pro-) "before" and καρυόν (karyon) "nut or kernel". [2][3] Prokaryotes do not have a membrane bound nucleus, mitochondria,

or any other membrane-bound organelles. Consequently, all their intracellular water-soluble components (proteins, DNA and metabolites) are located together in the same volume enclosed by the cell membrane, rather than in separate cellular compartments.

The division between prokaryotes and eukaryotes reflects two distinct levels of cellular organization rather than biological classification of species. Prokaryotes include two major classification domains of life: the Bacteria and the Archaea. Archaea were recognized as a domain in 1990. These organisms were originally thought to live only in inhospitable conditions such as extremes of temperature, pH, and radiation but have since been found in all types of habitats.

Prokaryotes are single-cell organisms, including bacteria and their bacteria- like cousins Archaea. Prokaryotic cells are much simpler than the more evolutionarily advanced eukaryotic cell. Whereas eukaryotic cells have many different functional compartments, divided by membranes, prokaryotes only

have one membrane, the plasma membrane, which encloses all of the cell’s

internal contents. If a eukaryotic cell is analogous to a big house with many different rooms, a prokaryotic cell is like a one-room, studio apartment.

Internal Structures of Prokaryotic Cells

Plasma Membrane: The plasma membrane is a double-layer of phospholipids with

associated proteins and other molecules. It is essentially the “bag” that holds all of the

intracellular material and regulates the movement of materials into and out of the cell.

Cytoplasm: This is the gel-like fluid that the cell is filled with, inside the plasma membrane--liquid with all of the cellular organelles suspended within.

Cytoskeleton: It's only recently been discovered that rod-shaped bacteria and Archaea possess cytoskeletal proteins that function in a similar way to the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells. This scaffolding provides structural support to the cell and plays a role in cell-division.

Ribosomes: All cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, have multiple ribosomes within. Ribosomes are the protein-making machinery of the cell.

The cell is the basic unit of life. All organisms are made up of cells (or in some cases, a single cell). Most cells are very small; most are invisible without using a microscope. Cells are covered by a cell membrane and come in many different shapes. The contents of a cell are called the protoplasm.

The following is a glossary of animal cell terms:

cell membrane - the thin layer of protein and fat that surrounds the cell. The cell membrane is semipermeable, allowing some substances to pass into the cell and blocking others. centrosome - (also called the "microtubule organizing center") a small body located near the nucleus - it has a dense center and radiating tubules. The centrosomes is where microtubules are made. During cell division (mitosis), the centrosome divides and the two parts move to opposite sides of the dividing cell. The centriole is the dense center of the centrosome. cytoplasm - the jellylike material outside the cell nucleus in which the organelles are located. Golgi body - (also called the Golgi apparatus or golgi complex) a flattened, layered, sac-like organelle that looks like a stack of pancakes and is located near the nucleus. It produces the membranes that surround the lysosomes. The Golgi body packages proteins and carbohydrates into membrane-bound vesicles for "export" from the cell. lysosome - (also called cell vesicles) round organelles surrounded by a membrane and containing digestive enzymes. This is where the digestion of cell nutrients takes place. mitochondrion - spherical to rod-shaped organelles with a double membrane. The inner membrane is infolded many times, forming a series of projections (called cristae). The mitochondrion converts the energy stored in glucose into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for the cell. nuclear membrane - the membrane that surrounds the nucleus. nucleolus - an organelle within the nucleus - it is where ribosomal RNA is produced. Some cells have more than one nucleolus. nucleus - spherical body containing many organelles, including the nucleolus. The nucleus controls many of the functions of the cell (by controlling protein synthesis) and contains DNA (in chromosomes). The nucleus is surrounded by the nuclear membrane. ribosome - small organelles composed of RNA-rich cytoplasmic granules that are sites of protein synthesis. rough endoplasmic reticulum - (rough ER) a vast system of interconnected, membranous, infolded and convoluted sacks that are located in the cell's cytoplasm (the ER is continuous with the outer nuclear membrane). Rough ER is covered with ribosomes that give it a rough appearance. Rough ER transports materials through the cell and produces proteins in sacks called cisternae (which are sent to the Golgi body, or inserted into the cell membrane). smooth endoplasmic reticulum - (smooth ER) a vast system of interconnected, membranous, infolded and convoluted tubes that are located in the cell's cytoplasm (the ER is continuous with the outer nuclear membrane). The space within the ER is called the ER lumen. Smooth ER transports materials through the cell. It contains enzymes and produces and digests lipids (fats) and membrane proteins; smooth ER buds off from rough ER, moving the newly-made proteins and lipids to the Golgi

body, lysosomes, and membranes. vacuole - fluid-filled, membrane-surrounded cavities inside a cell. The vacuole fills with food being digested and waste material that is on its way out of the cell.

Animal cell

Animal cell Structure of a typical animal cell

Structure of a typical animal cell

An animal cell is a form of eukaryotic cell that makes up many tissues in animals. Animal cells are distinct from other eukaryotes, most notably plant cells, as they lack cell walls and chloroplasts. They also have smaller vacuoles. Due to the lack of a cell wall, animal cells can adopt a variety of shapes. A phagocytic cell can even engulf other structures.

There are many different types of cell. For instance, there are approximately 210 distinct cell types in the adult human body.