Prokaryotic cells are smaller and simpler than eukaryotic cells that are larger and complex. Precisely, the diameter of a eukaryotic cell is about 10-100µm while that of the prokaryotic cell is 0.2-2 µm (Favor, 2005). Therefore, the prokaryotic cell has greater surface area to volume ratio and with the simpler internal structure; the molecules can easily and quickly diffuse to all parts of the cell. In contrast, the eukaryotic cell cannot function this way. They have limited surface area compared to its volume. Therefore, the cells require more complex organelles to carry out the process of metabolism, provide energy and transport molecules throughout the cells.
The similarity between a prokaryotic cell and a eukaryotic cell is that they both respire to release energy, they produce protein, and they have the same genetic materials hence carrying out the same life processes. Moreover, both Prokaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell have surface membrane. However, it is only eukaryotic cells that have membrane-bound organelles (Favor, 2005). The cells have a nucleus that encompasses multiple strands of linear DNA. On the other hand, the prokaryotic cells have DNA but the cells do not have a nucleus. Prokaryotes divide by binary fission. Similarly, they can change their DNA by the process of conjugation and exchange genetic materials with other cells. Eukaryotic cells use the process of mitosis to divide and produce two identical cells. Additionally, the cells use meiosis to produce gametes and create cells with different DNA.
Favor, L. J. (2005). Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structures: Understanding cells with and without a nucleus. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.
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