Eukaryotic Cell

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A eukaryotic cell is a cell that has its DNA in a distinct compartment from the cytoplasm of the cell due to a membrane; DNA is inside a nucleus. They also have a cytoskeleton that holds the cell's shape, gives it mechanical strength and helps to move things around the cell. Eukaryotic cells have membrane bound organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and mitochondria. Eukaryotic cells are typically much larger than prokaryotic cells. Animal cells are an example of eukaryotic cells[1].  

Different Structures

The two main types of eukaryotic cell are the animal cell and plant cell, between which there are a few differences.

Animal cells have a plasma cell membrane inside of this are all the organelles and cytosol. There is the nucleus which contains the genome enclosed in the nuclear envelope. This is surrounded by the endoplasmic reticulum which can have ribosomes attached. Surrounding this are the organelles as follows: the Golgi Apparatus, free Ribosomes, Lysosomes, Peroxisomes, Centrosome and Mitochondria. Other structures within the cell include Vesicles, Actin Filaments, Microtubules and Intermediate Filaments[2].

Plant cells are different in that they have a Cellulose Cell Wall as well as a Cell Membrane and large Vacuoles. Other differences include Choroplasts instead of Mitochondria, Plastids for storage, and not having Peroxisomes [3].


  1. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th edition, New York: Garland Science (pp26-27)
  2. Watson J D, Gilman M, Witkowski J and Zoller M (1992) Recombinant DNA, 2nd Edition, New York: W H Freeman and Company (Chapter 6)fckLRBerg J M, Tymoczko J L and Stryer L (2007) Biochemistry, 6th edition, New York: W H Freeman and Company (P140-142)
  3. Pearson NCS (2014), Plant Cell, Available at http://biology.tutorvista. com/animal-and-plant-cells/plant-cell.html (Last Accessed 27/11/2014)
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