Cell types

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

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

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

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 found loose in the cytoplasm.

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

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

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 with respect to 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, DNA, enclosed.

Likewise, the eukaryotic cell is made up of organelles, structures that also perform various tasks. These include mitochondria, chloroplasts, the Golgi apparatus, the lysosome, the endoplasmic reticulum, among others.

The eukaryotic cell in turn can be of two types:

Animal cell: 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 by obtaining energy from sunlight.

See also Plant cell, Cell, Eukaryotic cell, Animal cell, Prokaryotic cell, Parts of the cell, Archaea.