The Key Difference Between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells

What distinguishes eukaryotic cells from prokaryotic cells?

A. cytoplasm
B. cell membrane
D. nucleus
E. ribosomes


The nucleus is the feature of eukaryotic cells that distinguishes them from prokaryotic cells.

The key difference between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells lies in the presence of a nucleus. While both types of cells share similarities such as a cell membrane, cytoplasm, DNA, and ribosomes, eukaryotic cells have a distinct nucleus that sets them apart.

The nucleus in eukaryotic cells serves as a protective compartment for the genetic material, housing the DNA within a membrane-bound structure. This separation of genetic material from the rest of the cell is a characteristic feature of eukaryotic cells that is not found in prokaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic cells, on the other hand, lack a true nucleus and have their DNA floating freely in the cytoplasm. This difference in the organization of genetic material is fundamental to the distinctions between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.

Understanding the presence or absence of a nucleus is crucial in distinguishing between these two types of cells and recognizing the unique features that define each cell type.

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