Eukaryotic

Plants, animals, fungi, slime moulds, protozoa, and algae all comprise eukaryotic cells. These cells are about fifteen times wider than a typical prokaryote and can be as much as a thousand times greater in volume. 

The main distinguishing feature of eukaryotes as compared to prokaryotes is compartmentalisation: 

  • the presence of membrane-bound compartments in which specific metabolic activities take place. 
  • Most important among these is a cell nucleus, a membrane-delineated compartment that houses the eukaryotic cell's DNA


This nucleus gives the eukaryote its name, which means "true nucleus." Other differences include:

  • The cell(plasma) membrane resembles that of prokaryotes in function, with minor differences in the setup. Cell walls may or may not be present.
  • The eukaryotic DNA is organized in one or more linear molecules, called chromosomes, which are associated with histone proteins
    • All chromosomal DNA is stored in the cell nucleus, separated from the cytoplasm by a membrane. 
    • Some eukaryotic organelles such as mitochondria also contain some DNA.
  • Many eukaryotic cells are ciliated with primary cilia. 
    • Primary cilia play important roles in chemosensation, mechanosensation, and thermosensation. 
    • Cilia may thus be "viewed as a sensory cellular antennae that coordinates a large number of cellular signaling pathways, sometimes coupling the signaling to ciliary motility or alternatively to cell division and differentiation."
  • Eukaryotes can move using motile cilia or flagella. Eukaryotic flagella are less complex than those of prokaryotes.