Comparing Cells

All cells share common features, such as a cell membrane, cytoplasm, ribosomes, and genetic material. But there is a high level of diversity among cells, as shown in Figure 4-24. There are significant differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In addition, plant cells have features that are not found in animal cells.

Prokaryotes Versus Eukaryotes

Prokaryotes differ from eukaryotes in that prokaryotes lack a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Prokaryotes have a region, called a nucleoid, in which their genetic material is concentrated. However, prokaryotes lack an internal membrane system.

Plant Cells Versus Animal Cells Three unique features distinguish plant cells from animal cells. One is the production of a cell wall by plant cells. Plant cells contain a large central vacuole. Third, plant cells contain a variety of plastids, which are not found in animal cells. Cell walls, central vacuoles, and plastids are unique features that are important to plant function.

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