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Classify Features and Functions of Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Image of a prokaryotic cellImage of animal cell and plant cell

Living things or organisms are made up of cells. Some organisms may be made up of just a single cell (unicellular), like bacteria, whereas others are made up of lots of cells, like a plant. 

 

With the invention of the electron microscope in the 20th century, scientists were able to see structures inside of cells more clearly. These structures are called organelles. It was noticed that organisms in the animal, plant, fungi and protist kingdoms all had a cell membrane, cytoplasm and a visible nucleus that contained the genetic material. These are called eukaryotic cells. Organisms like bacteria are much smaller than eukaryotic cells. The genetic material in a bacteria isn't in a nucleus - these are said to be prokaryotic cells. The genetic material is usually a single loop of DNA and there may be one or more rings of DNA called a plasmid. Prokaryotic cells have cytoplasm and a cell membrane surrounded by a cell wall. 

 

The organelles in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells differ and have various jobs. Let's look at these organelles a little more closely below:

 

Nucleus- Contains the genetic material which the cell uses to make proteins. Cell activities are controlled here. Kind of like the control centre of a cell.

 

Cytoplasm - Jelly-like substance that contains the organelles. Many chemical reactions happen here. 

 

Cell membrane - Controls the substances which enter and leave the cell. A bit like the gates at the Houses of Parliament!

 

Mitochondria - Very small structures in the cytoplasm where respiration takes place, releasing energy for the cell.

 

Ribosomes - Makes all the proteins needed for the cell.

 

Some organelles are only found in plant cells, such as chloroplasts, cell wall and vacuoles. Let's look at their jobs below:

 

Chloroplasts - contain a green pigment called chlorophyll which absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis, the process plants use to make glucose. 

 

Vacuole - sometimes called the permanent vacuole. It's a space in the middle of the cell filled with cell sap - it keeps the plant rigid to support the plant.

 

Cell wall - made of cellulose fibres to make the cell stronger and supports the plant.

 

Prokaryotic cells have some similar features to eukaryotic cells, like the cytoplasm, cell membrane and cell walls. However, the cell wall in prokaryotes is made of a different substance than in plants, and it's role is to maintain the cell's shape and protect the cell. The cytoplasm and cell membrane do similar roles as in eukaryotic cells.

 

In the following activity, you will classify eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell features and functions.

 

Prokaryotic cells don't have a nucleus. Describe the genetic material found in the cell. 

 

Choose one answer.

A single loop of DNA and circular plasmids

Pairs of chromosomes

A double helix of DNA

Image showing the process of photosynthesis in plants

Plant cells are examples of eukaryotic cells. Plants have a special pigment in the chloroplast that allows sunlight to be absorbed. The sunlight is used to make glucose for the plant. 

 

What is the name of the pigment and the process of making glucose? Select two answers only.

Chlorophyll

Chloroplast

Mitochondria

Respiration

Metabolism

Photosynthesis

Eukaryotic cells respire in certain organelles found in the cytoplasm. The energy released is used by the cell for many different processes, like cell growth.

 

What is the name of the organelle where respiration happens?

Mitochondria

Ribosome

Nucleus

Image of cell wall structure

Plant cells have a cell wall, whereas animal cells don't.

Plants need to be supported during their growth by having strong cell walls. Without them, plants would be unable to grow upright as well as they do.

 

What substance are plant cell walls made from?

Protein

Cellulose

Enzymes

Image of animal and plant cell

Animal and plant cells are eukaryotic cells. Compare the structure of animal and plant cells.

 

Select all applicable answers in each row.

 Animal cellPlant cell
Nucleus
Cytoplasm
Vacuole
Ribosomes
Cell Membrane
Cell wall
Chloroplast
Mitochondria

Image of a prokaryotic cell

The genetic material of Prokaryotic cells is found as a single loop or as a plasmid in the cytoplasm of the cell.

 

What is the job of a plasmid? Select one answer.

To copy all of the cell's genetic material

To transfer genetic material easily from cell to cell

To carry out protein synthesis

 Ribosomes are needed in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Fill in the blanks below about ribosomes.

To copy all of the cell's genetic material

To transfer genetic material easily from cell to cell

To carry out protein synthesis

Match up the cells key structures with their description

Column A

Column B

Contains the genetic material which the cell uses ...
Mitochondria
Very small structures in the cytoplasm where respi...
Nucleus
Jelly-like substance that contains the organelles....
Ribosomes
Absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis, the process p...
Cytoplasm
Makes all the proteins needed for the cell
Chloroplasts
Sometimes called the permanent vacuole. It's a spa...
Vacuole
Made of fibres to make the cell stronger and suppo...
Cell Membrane
Controls the substances which enter and leave the ...
Cell Wall

A bacteria is shown in the picture below. This type of bacteria has a tail-like structure called a flagellum (more than one is referred to as flagella).

 

Why might bacteria need flagella?

 

Image of a prokaryotic cell

 

To allow the bacteria to defend itself

To allow the bacteria to move

To allow the bacteria to grow

Compare the key features of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.

 

Select all applicable answers in each row.

 Eukaryotic cellProkaryotic cell
Nucleus present
Cytoplasm
Cell membrane
Plasmid
Mitochondria
Ribosome
  • Question 1

Prokaryotic cells don't have a nucleus. Describe the genetic material found in the cell. 

 

Choose one answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
A single loop of DNA and circular plasmids
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? In prokaryotes, the genetic material is found in the cytoplasm of the cell as a single loop. The prokaryotic cell will also have circular pieces of DNA called plasmids. Plasmids are an easy way to transfer DNA to other cells.
  • Question 2

Image showing the process of photosynthesis in plants

Plant cells are examples of eukaryotic cells. Plants have a special pigment in the chloroplast that allows sunlight to be absorbed. The sunlight is used to make glucose for the plant. 

 

What is the name of the pigment and the process of making glucose? Select two answers only.

CORRECT ANSWER
Chlorophyll
Photosynthesis
EDDIE SAYS
Is this getting easier? Chloroplasts contain the pigment chlorophyll, which absorbs the sun's light for photosynthesis. Glucose is produced and is used in different ways in the plant, like for respiration.
  • Question 3

Eukaryotic cells respire in certain organelles found in the cytoplasm. The energy released is used by the cell for many different processes, like cell growth.

 

What is the name of the organelle where respiration happens?

CORRECT ANSWER
Mitochondria
EDDIE SAYS
Respiration occurs in the mitochondria in eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells, however, don't have mitochondria in the cytoplasm. The energy released is used by the cell for many different processes, like cell replication.
  • Question 4

Image of cell wall structure

Plant cells have a cell wall, whereas animal cells don't.

Plants need to be supported during their growth by having strong cell walls. Without them, plants would be unable to grow upright as well as they do.

 

What substance are plant cell walls made from?

CORRECT ANSWER
Cellulose
EDDIE SAYS
Cellulose is made up of long chains of glucose, and this is used to form the plant's cell wall. The long chains help give strength and structure to the cell wall.
  • Question 5

Image of animal and plant cell

Animal and plant cells are eukaryotic cells. Compare the structure of animal and plant cells.

 

Select all applicable answers in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Animal cellPlant cell
Nucleus
Cytoplasm
Vacuole
Ribosomes
Cell Membrane
Cell wall
Chloroplast
Mitochondria
EDDIE SAYS
Although both animal and plant cells are eukaryotic cells, they still have some differences. The chloroplast, vacuole and cell wall are exclusive to plant cells (although prokaryotes do have a cell wall too).
  • Question 6

Image of a prokaryotic cell

The genetic material of Prokaryotic cells is found as a single loop or as a plasmid in the cytoplasm of the cell.

 

What is the job of a plasmid? Select one answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
To transfer genetic material easily from cell to cell
EDDIE SAYS
Bacteria is an example of a prokaryotic cell which often contains plasmids. The plasmid can move from one bacterium to another, allowing greater genetic variation among bacteria.
  • Question 7

 Ribosomes are needed in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Fill in the blanks below about ribosomes.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You’re making great progress! Ribosomes are in charge of protein synthesis in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Proteins are really important and are needed for different cell structures and functions. For example, Keratin is a protein needed for hair and nails in humans.
  • Question 8

Match up the cells key structures with their description

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Contains the genetic material whi...
Nucleus
Very small structures in the cyto...
Mitochondria
Jelly-like substance that contain...
Cytoplasm
Absorbs sunlight for photosynthes...
Chloroplasts
Makes all the proteins needed for...
Ribosomes
Sometimes called the permanent va...
Vacuole
Made of fibres to make the cell s...
Cell Wall
Controls the substances which ent...
Cell Membrane
EDDIE SAYS
Take the time to remember these key structures of cells, as you are often asked about them in exams. Maybe you can try this question a few times to consolidate your knowledge?
  • Question 9

A bacteria is shown in the picture below. This type of bacteria has a tail-like structure called a flagellum (more than one is referred to as flagella).

 

Why might bacteria need flagella?

 

Image of a prokaryotic cell

 

CORRECT ANSWER
To allow the bacteria to move
EDDIE SAYS
Don't worry if you found that tricky! Bacteria are prokaryotes. They're unicellular, so are made up of a single cell. The flagellum helps the bacteria to move to allow it to find food, or to move through a substance like water.
  • Question 10

Compare the key features of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.

 

Select all applicable answers in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Eukaryotic cellProkaryotic cell
Nucleus present
Cytoplasm
Cell membrane
Plasmid
Mitochondria
Ribosome
EDDIE SAYS
Don't forget that prokaryotic cells do have genetic material, just not in a nucleus. Also, plant cells which are eukaryotic share the cell wall feature with prokaryotic cells, though they're made of different substances. Great work, you’ve completed another activity!
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