Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells

Post your response to the following: Describe two similarities and two differences between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells. Why do you think eukaryotic cells developed? Describe how eukaryotic cells are similar to a production line.

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Prokaryotic cells are similar in that they both have cellular membranes and they both contain chromosomes. Cellular membranes are important for both types of cells because they help maintain the cell’s structural integrity and act as a barrier between the intercellular fluid and the extracellular fluid. Chromosomes are the blueprint, if you will, that the cell uses to guide protein synthesis and other vital cellular functions.

Prokaryotic cells are different in that eukaryotic cells have many inner parts, known as organelles, which perform specific tasks within the cell; however, prokaryotic cells have no distinct internal organelles. Also, eukaryotic cells do not even contain their chromosomes within a nuclear envelope but rather let the chromosomes float within the intercellular fluid.

Eukaryotic cells might have developed because the inefficiency of prokaryotic cells to glean maximum ATP from raw materials. Prokaryotic cells lack mitochondria, which in eukaryotic cells facilitate the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain. Without mitochondria, prokaryotic cells would be limited in how long they could survive without plentiful food.  

I was fascinated, if not overwhelmed, by the chains and cycles that the cell uses to produce ATP and proteins. During both processes catalysts and enzymes are used to change the “product” in different ways to eventually produce the finished “product”. This is how production lines work in factories. Each employee adds or changes a small thing and over time the starting product becomes the finished product.

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Pruitt, N. L., & Underwood, L. S. (2006). Bioinquiry: Making connections in biology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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