Table of Contents
What is a Eukaryotic Cell
Eukaryotic cells are cells with nuclei surrounded by the nuclear membrane and these cells also have membrane-bound organelles. Eukaryotic organisms include protozoans, algae, fungi, plants, and animals.
While some eukaryotic cells may be independent and can exist as single-celled microorganisms, other eukaryotic cells are part of multicellular organisms such as that of animals (including humans).
A eukaryotic cell can be defined as a cell that has a membrane-bound nucleus and other membrane-bound structures located in the cytoplasm called organelles. These compartments with membranes have special functions that together help the Eukaryotic cell to perform its function. The word eukaryotic means true kernel or true nucleus because they contain a nucleus. All Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus surrounded by a membrane.
Examples of Eukaryotic Cells
- Plant cells
- Animal cells like liver cells, epithelial cells, muscle cells, nerves, etc
Eukaryotic cell size is about 10 m to 100 m in diameter the size of the eukaryotic cells is relatively larger than prokaryotic cells (Eukaryotic cells can be 1000 to 10,000 times the volume of prokaryotic cells). The large sizes of eukaryotic cells do not allow for diffusion of nutrients as in prokaryotic cells; Eukaryotic cells, therefore, have evolved different structural adaptations to enhance cellular transport
Eukaryotic Cell Structure
Eukaryotic cells have a more complex structure than the structure of prokaryotic cells and Eukaryotic cells carry out their functions through organelles. The structural characteristics of eukaryotic cells will be discussed below.
Eukaryotic Cell Diagram
Diagrams of animal and plant cells are typical representatives of Eukaryotic cells
Structural Characteristics of Eukaryotic cells
- Eukaryotic cells contain endomembrane systems such as the Endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes.
- The ribosomes of Eukaryotic cells have 80S subunits in the cytoplasm and rough ER while in the mitochondria, there is the 70S subunit which is also found in the chloroplasts in plants.
- Some eukaryotic cells have flexible cilia and flagella which are composed of microtubules
- The cell wall of plants and some algae contain Cellulose, that of mollusks, insects, crustaceans, and fungi containing Chitin.
- The cell wall of some algae contain Silica
- The eukaryotic cells plasma membrane is made up of a lipid bilayer with proteins
Eukaryotic cell parts (Organelles in Eukaryotic cells) and their functions
- Cell wall: this is found only in the Eukaryotic plant cells and offers rigidity and support
- Plasma membrane: this controls the movement of molecules in and out of the cell and protects the organelles in animals.
- Nucleus: this contains the DNA material and therefore is the control center of Eukaryotic cells
- Cytoplasm: it contains and supports organelles and metabolism occurs inside it
- Ribosomes: these are the protein production centers of Eukaryotic cells
- Lysosomes: found only in the Eukaryotic animal cells and help to breakdown molecules and germs
- Golgi apparatus: this carry out the function of modifying proteins produced by ribosomes on rough endoplasmic reticulum and onward transportation in the Golgi vesicles
- Endoplasmic reticulum: the rough endoplasmic reticulum helps in the production of proteins because of the ribosomes on it while the smooth endoplasmic reticulum helps in lipids production
- Mitochondria: aerobic respiration occurs in these organelles
- Chloroplast: this is found only in plant cells and helps in the absorption of light during photosynthesis.
- Flagella and cilia: structures used for movements