Cell Types

The cell is basic and functional unit possessed by all living beings. The cell is responsible for reproduction, nutrition, obtaining energy and other specialized functions for the existence of organisms.

All living things are made up of cells, from the smallest or simplest to the largest or most complex. Hence, there are unicellular beings (of a single cell), such as bacteria, or multicellular beings (of more than one cell), such as animals.

At the evolutionary level, there are two types of cells: prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

Prokaryotic cell

Prokaryotic cell

The prokaryotic cell is the simplest cell.

the prokaryotic cell It is characterized by not having a cell nucleus. The genetic material is loose in the cytoplasm.

The structure of the prokaryotic cell is simpler, with a cell membrane that covers the cytoplasm, ribosomes, and genetic material made up of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).

Organisms composed of prokaryotic cells are unicellular beings. Among these are bacteria and archaea.

Eukaryotic cell

Eukaryotic cell

The eukaryotic cell is characterized by having a cell nucleus delimited by a membrane.

The eukaryotic cell is a more complex cell. Its main difference from the prokaryotic cell is the presence of a nucleus and internal organelles. The nucleus has an envelope that keeps the hereditary genetic material, that is, the DNA, enclosed.

Likewise, the eukaryotic cell is composed of organelles, structures that also fulfill various tasks. Among these are the mitochondria, the chloroplasts, the Golgi apparatus, the lysosome, the endoplasmic reticulum, among others.

The eukaryotic cell in turn can be of two types:

  • Animal cell: It has a membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm and organelles. They are part of multicellular organisms, so they can form tissues. They do not have a cellulose cell wall. They are also not capable of obtaining energy from light or simple compounds, so they depend on nutrients from the outside.

  • Plant cell: in addition to having a membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm and organelles, the plant cell It has a rigid cell wall composed of cellulose, and chloroplasts, organelles that carry out the process of photosynthesis. Thanks to this, the plant cell is self-sufficient, obtaining energy from sunlight.

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See also Plant cell, Cell, Eukaryotic cell, Animal cell, Prokaryotic cell, Cell parts, Archaea.