Difference between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Even though all cells are broadly classified into Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes, the main difference between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes is in whether the genetic materials are enclosed by a nuclear envelope or not. It is considered as the most significant among groups of organisms. Many people get confused with the similar sounding names, but there are a lot of differences between them. Let us see them in detail to know the main difference between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.


They were the only form of life on Earth for millions of years, and later Eukaryotes emerged due to the process of evolution. The nucleus is absent in Prokaryotic cells, and it is usually unicellular. The DNA content is very low and is usually circular. It does not have any association with histone proteins. The size is 0.1 to 5.0 um. The cell membrane may have infolding called mesosome and Mitochondria is absent. Sexual reproduction is also absent.


The typical nucleus is present and is made of the nuclear envelope, chromatin, nucleoplasm, nuclear matrix and nucleoli. The DNA lies inside the nucleus, mitochondria and plastids and is usually linear. DNA is associated with histones. The size of Eukaryotes is 5 to 100 um. While Mitochondria is often present, the mesosomes are absent. Sexual reproduction is often present, and a distinction of interphase and mitotic phase occurs during the cell cycle.

These are many differences in the cellular structure of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes. In this way, both of them are different in many ways.

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