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Identify and Describe Key Features of Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

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 and plant kingdom 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 - absorbs sunlight for photosynthesis, the process plants use to make sugar. 

 

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 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 its 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 identify and describe the key features of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic cells don't have a nucleus, whereas eukaryotic cells do. What's found in the nucleus? Choose one answer.

Genetic material

Mitochondria

Cytoplasm

Image showing the process of photosynthesis in plants

Plant cells are examples of eukaryotic cells. Which organelle do plant cells need for photosynthesis? Select one answer from the list below.

Nucleus

Cytoplasm

Vacuole

Chloroplast

Cell membrane

Cell wall

Prokaryotic cells don't have mitochondria in their cytoplasm, whereas eukaryotic cells do. What is the function of mitochondria?

To release energy from photosynthesis

To release energy from digestion

To release energy from respiration

Image of animal and plant cell

Plant cells have a cell wall, whereas animal cells don't. Why do plant cells need a cell wall? 

To strengthen and support the plant cells

To control what substances can exit the cell

To control what substances can enter the cell

Image of animal and plant cell

Animal and plant cells are eukaryotic cells. Compare the structure of animal and plant cells. Select one or more answers in each row.

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

Image of a prokaryotic cell

Prokaryotic cells don't have a nucleus, but their genetic material is found as a single loop or as a plasmid in the cytoplasm of the cell. What is the job of a plasmid?

To copy all of the cell's genetic material

To transfer genetic material easily from cell to cell

To carry out protein synthesis

 Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells contain an organelle that is in charge of making proteins. What is the name of this structure? Type one word below. 

Match up the cells key structures with their description. 

Column A

Column B

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

The picture below shows a eukaryotic cell. Label P, Q and R. Select only one answer in each row.

Image of an animal cell

Compare the key features of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Select one or more answers in each row.

 Eukaryotic cellProkaryotic cell
Nucleus Present
Cytoplasm
Cell Membrane
Plasmid
Mitochondria
Ribosome
  • Question 1

Prokaryotic cells don't have a nucleus, whereas eukaryotic cells do. What's found in the nucleus? Choose one answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
Genetic material
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Genetic material is stored in the nucleus of cells in the form of chromosomes. The genetic material will control all the cells' activities.
  • Question 2

Image showing the process of photosynthesis in plants

Plant cells are examples of eukaryotic cells. Which organelle do plant cells need for photosynthesis? Select one answer from the list below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Chloroplast
EDDIE SAYS
Chloroplasts absorb the sun's light for photosynthesis. Glucose is produced and is used in different ways in the plant, like respiration.
  • Question 3

Prokaryotic cells don't have mitochondria in their cytoplasm, whereas eukaryotic cells do. What is the function of mitochondria?

CORRECT ANSWER
To release energy from respiration
EDDIE SAYS
Respiration occurs in the mitochondria. The energy released is used by the cell for many different processes, like cell replication.
  • Question 4

Image of animal and plant cell

Plant cells have a cell wall, whereas animal cells don't. Why do plant cells need a cell wall? 

CORRECT ANSWER
To strengthen and support the plant cells
EDDIE SAYS
This was a tricky one! 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.
  • Question 5

Image of animal and plant cell

Animal and plant cells are eukaryotic cells. Compare the structure of animal and plant cells. Select one or more answers in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Animal cellPlant cell
Nucleus
Cytoplasm
Vacuole
Ribosomes
Cell membrane
Cell wall
Chloroplast
Mitochondria
EDDIE SAYS
Another tricky one... 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

Prokaryotic cells don't have a nucleus, but their genetic material is found as a single loop or as a plasmid in the cytoplasm of the cell. What is the job of a plasmid?

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

 Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells contain an organelle that is in charge of making proteins. What is the name of this structure? Type one word below. 

CORRECT ANSWER
Ribosome
Ribosomes
EDDIE SAYS
Nice job if you chose Ribosomes! Ribosomes are in charge of protein synthesis in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Proteins are really important and are needed for cell structure and function.
  • 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
Keep trying until you get it right. 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

The picture below shows a eukaryotic cell. Label P, Q and R. Select only one answer in each row.

Image of an animal cell

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You can tell this is a eukaryotic cell because of the presence of a nucleus. You can also tell it's not a plant cell, because plant cells are typically rectangular in shape. Don't worry if a cell has extra features you don't recognise, you will only be examined on the key features of a cell.
  • Question 10

Compare the key features of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Select one or more answers in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Eukaryotic cellProkaryotic cell
Nucleus Present
Cytoplasm
Cell Membrane
Plasmid
Mitochondria
Ribosome
EDDIE SAYS
Are you feeling more confident? 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. I hope you’ve improved your knowledge of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells!
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