Eukaryotic cells are cells with nucleus 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). The genetic material of eukaryotic cells is packaged in multiple chromosomes that are rod shape. Eukaryotic cells divide through meiosis or mitosis
Eukaryotic Cell Definition
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 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
Size of eukaryotic cell
Eukaryotic cell size is about 10 m to 100 m in diameter the size of eukaryotic cell 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 cell and plant cellare typical representatives of Eukaryotic cells
Structural Characteristics of Eukaryotic cells
- Eukaryotic cells contain endomembrane system such as Endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus and lysosomes.
- The ribosomes of Eukaryotic ells 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 molluscs, insects, crustaceans and fungi contain Chitin.
- The cell wall of some algae contain Silica
- 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 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 support 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 helps 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 absorption of light during photosynthesis
- Flagella and cilia: structures used for movements