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What are Eukaryotic Cells Simplified

Understanding the Basics of Eukaryotic Cells

Aside from prokaryotes, all other species are eukaryotes which include: protists, fungi, plants, and animals. The key characteristics that make eukaryotes different from prokaryotes are the presence of a true nucleus and organelles.

The DNA of all eukaryotic  cells are in the nucleus, which is an example of an organelle. Organelles are the “organs” of the eukaryotic cell; they play have specific roles in how cells work just like organs help the body to function properly. Organelles compartmentalize the various functions a cell needs to survive. For example, protein synthesis and protein breakdown occur in different parts of the cell.


Types of Eukaryotic Cells

There are two of eukaryotic cells. Plants cell which can be found in plants, and animal cells which are found in all other eukaryotic organisms. The main difference between the plant and animal cell


Overview of Plant and Animal Cells




Organelles That Vary Between Plant & Animal Cells

Central Vacuole

In plants, the central vacuole is a membrane enclosed space in the center of the cell, and is filled with water. This vacuole often the largest structure inside the cell and keeps the plant rigid.

Have you ever wondered why a plant wilts when it isn’t watered? There is not enough water in the central vacuole to keep the plant upright.



Cell Wall

The cell wall is the rigid outermost cell layer found in plants. In plants, the cell wall is made up of cellulose, and is crucial to cell function.  Animal cells do not have a cell wall.


Parts that are in the same in Plant & Animal Cells

  1. Nucleus: Organization and expression of the genetic material(DNA).
  2. Nucleolus: Location for ribosome assembly.
  3. Nuclear Pore: Passageway for molecules into and out of the nucleus.
  4. Nuclear Envelope: Double layered membrane that encloses the nucleus.
  5. Chromatin: A complex of protein and DNA.
  6. Rough ER: Protein synthesis, sorting, and secretion.
  7. Smooth ER: Detoxification and lipid Synthesis.
  8. Golgi Apparatus: Modification, sorting and secretion of lipids and proteins.
  9. Peroxisome: Breakdown of hydrogen peroxide and other harmful molecules.
  10. Mitochondrion: Location of ATP synthesis.
  11. Cytosol: Location of many metabolic pathways; polypeptide synthesis.
  12. Cytoskeleton: Shape and movement.

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