A eukaryotic cell is a cell that contains a nucleus and organelles and is enclosed by a plasma membrane. Organisms that have eukaryotic cells include protozoa, fungi, plants, and animals. These organisms are grouped into the biological domain Eukaryota. Eukaryotic cells are larger and more complex than prokaryotic cells, which are found in Archaea and Bacteria, the other two domains of life.
Eukaryotes can reproduce both asexually through mitosis and sexually through meiosis and gamete fusion. In mitosis, one cell divides to produce two genetically identical cells. In meiosis, DNA replication is followed by two rounds of cell division to produce four haploid daughter cells. These act as sex cells. Each gamete has just one set of chromosomes, each a unique mix of the corresponding pair of parental chromosomes resulting from genetic recombination during meiosis.
Characteristics of Eukaryotic Cell
- They have the nucleus enclosed within the nuclear membrane.
- The cell has mitochondria.
- Flagella and cilia are the locomotory organs in a eukaryotic cell.
- A cell wall is the outermost layer of the eukaryotic cells.
- The cells divide by a process called mitosis.
- The eukaryotic cells contain a cytoskeletal structure.
- The nucleus contains a single, linear DNA, which carries all the genetic information.
Examples of Eukaryotic Cell
The examples of eukaryotic cells are mentioned below:
- Plant Cells: The cell wall is made up of cellulose, which provides support to the plant. It has a large vacuole which maintains the turgor pressure. The plant cell contains chloroplast, which aids in the process of photosynthesis.
- Fungal Cells: The cell wall is made of chitin. Some fungi have holes known as septa which allow the organelles and cytoplasm to pass through them.
- Animal Cells: They don’t have cell walls. Instead, they have a cell membrane. That is why animals have varied shapes. They have the ability to perform phagocytosis and pinocytosis.
- Protozoa: They are unicellular organisms. Some protozoa have cilia for locomotion. A thin layer called pellicle provides supports to the cell.