What is the difference between eukaryotes and prokaryotes?

Prokaryotes are organisms whose cells do not have a nucleus, while eukaryotes are organisms whose cells do have a nucleus.

Prokaryotes are most often, but not exclusively, unicellular (single-celled) organisms. In addition to lacking a nucleus, they also lack other separate membrane-bound organelles. All of the proteins, DNA, and other molecules in a prokaryotic cell float around within the cell membrane but are not separated into different compartments.

Eukaryotes do typically have separate membrane-bound organelles within their cells. They may be single-celled or multicellular organisms. Every large organism (animals, plants, fungi) is eukaryotic, and many small and single-celled organisms are in this category as well.


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