AQA A Level Biology

Revision Notes

2.1.6 Prokaryotic v Eukaryotic Cells

Prokaryotic v Eukaryotic Cell Structures

  • Animal and plant cells are types of eukaryotic cells, whereas bacteria are a type of prokaryote
  • Prokaryotes have a cellular structure distinct from eukaryotes:
    • Their genetic material is not packaged within a membrane-bound nucleus and is usually circular (eukaryotic genetic material is packaged as linear chromosomes)
    • Prokaryotes lack membrane-bound organelles
    • They are many (100s/1000s) of times smaller than eukaryotic cells
    • Their ribosomes are structurally smaller (70 S) in comparison to those found in eukaryotic cells (80 S)

Cell Components- Prokaryotic cell, downloadable AS & A Level Biology revision notes

Prokaryotic cells are often described as being ‘simpler’ than eukaryotic cells, and they are believed to have emerged as the first living organisms on Earth

Prokaryotic & Eukaryotic Cells Comparison Table

Comparison of Prokaryotes & Eukaryotes table, downloadable AS & A Level Biology revision notes


Alistair graduated from Oxford University in 2014 with a degree in Biological Sciences. He has taught GCSE/IGCSE Biology, as well as Biology and Environmental Systems & Societies for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. While teaching in Oxford, Alistair completed his MA Education as Head of Department for Environmental Systems and Societies.

Join Save My Exams

Download all our Revision Notes as PDFs

Try a Free Sample of our revision notes as a printable PDF.

Join Now
Already a member?
Go to Top