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Bacteria vs. Eukaryotes — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on October 3, 2023
Bacteria are single-celled prokaryotes without a nucleus, while eukaryotes have a nucleus and include both single-celled and multicellular organisms.
Bacteria vs. Eukaryotes — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Bacteria and Eukaryotes

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Key Differences

Bacteria are among the simplest forms of life and belong to the domain of prokaryotes. Eukaryotes, on the other hand, are more complex and have cells that contain a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023
Bacteria often thrive in various environments, from hot springs to the human gut. Eukaryotes also occupy diverse habitats, but their cellular structure allows them to form more intricate multicellular organisms, like plants and animals.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023
In terms of genetics, bacteria typically have a single circular chromosome located in a region called the nucleoid. Eukaryotes, in contrast, have multiple linear chromosomes housed within the nucleus.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023
Reproduction in bacteria mainly occurs through a process called binary fission, which is a type of asexual reproduction. Eukaryotes employ a wider array of reproductive methods, including both asexual and sexual reproduction, with meiosis and mitosis playing crucial roles.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023
While bacteria possess cell walls made of peptidoglycan, eukaryotic cells might have a variety of outer layers, such as the cellulose cell wall in plants or the chitinous layer in fungi. Animal eukaryotes, notably, lack a cell wall altogether.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Cellular Complexity

Simple prokaryotic cells without nucleus
Complex cells with a nucleus and other organelles
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

Habitat

Everywhere, including extreme conditions
Various, from single-cell to multicellular organisms
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Oct 03, 2023

Genetic Material

Single circular chromosome in nucleoid
Multiple linear chromosomes in a nucleus
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Oct 03, 2023

Reproduction

Mainly binary fission
Both asexual (mitosis) and sexual (meiosis) reproduction
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Oct 03, 2023

Cell Wall Composition

Peptidoglycan
Varies (cellulose in plants, chitin in fungi, none in animals)
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Oct 03, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Bacteria

Prokaryotic organisms.
The human gut contains beneficial bacteria aiding in digestion.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Eukaryotes

Possessors of membrane-bound organelles.
Eukaryotes have structures like mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum in their cells.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Bacteria

Single-celled microorganisms without a nucleus.
Bacteria can cause diseases but also play crucial roles in ecosystems.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Eukaryotes

Entities with complex cellular structures.
The complexity of eukaryotes allows them to form specialized tissues and organs.
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Sep 27, 2023

Bacteria

Capable of rapid reproduction via binary fission.
Some bacteria can double their population in just 20 minutes.
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Sep 27, 2023

Eukaryotes

Organisms with cells containing a nucleus.
Humans, plants, and fungi are all eukaryotes.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Bacteria

Ubiquitous life forms existing in diverse environments.
Bacteria can be found in soil, water, and even in extreme conditions like hot springs.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Eukaryotes

Can be single-celled or multicellular.
While amoebas are single-celled eukaryotes, trees are multicellular.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Bacteria

Possessors of cell walls made of peptidoglycan.
Antibiotics often target the peptidoglycan layer in bacteria.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Eukaryotes

Employ varied reproductive methods.
Eukaryotes can reproduce through mitosis or more complex processes like meiosis.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 27, 2023

Bacteria

Bacteria ( (listen); common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 15, 2022

Eukaryotes

Any of various single-celled or multicellular organisms of the domain Eukaryota, characterized by cells that contain a distinct membrane-bound nucleus and by the occurrence of DNA transcription inside the nucleus and protein synthesis in the cytoplasm, in contrast to prokaryotes.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

Plural of bacterium.
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Nov 15, 2022

Eukaryotes

Plural of eukaryote
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Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

(US) A type, species, or strain of bacterium.
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Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

Alternative form of bacterium.
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Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

Lowlife, slob (could be treated as plural or singular).
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Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

An oval bacterium, as distinguished from a spherical coccus or rod-shaped bacillus.
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Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

See Bacterium.
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Nov 15, 2022

Bacteria

(microbiology) single-celled or noncellular spherical or spiral or rod-shaped organisms lacking chlorophyll that reproduce by fission; important as pathogens and for biochemical properties; taxonomy is difficult; often considered plants
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Nov 15, 2022

Common Curiosities

Do bacteria have a nucleus?

No, bacteria lack a nucleus and have their genetic material in a nucleoid region.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

Are all bacteria harmful to humans?

No, while some bacteria cause diseases, many are beneficial or neutral to humans.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

Are all eukaryotes multicellular?

No, eukaryotes can be both single-celled and multicellular.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

Which organisms are considered eukaryotes?

Organisms like plants, animals, fungi, and certain protists are eukaryotes.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

How do eukaryotic cells differ in structure from bacterial cells?

Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus and other organelles, while bacterial cells are simpler without a nucleus.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

Do eukaryotes have organelles?

Yes, eukaryotes have membrane-bound organelles, including a nucleus.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

What are bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled prokaryotes without a nucleus.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

Are fungi bacteria or eukaryotes?

Fungi are eukaryotes with complex cellular structures.
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Oct 03, 2023

What's the primary reproductive method for bacteria?

Bacteria mainly reproduce asexually through binary fission.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

What is the significance of bacteria in ecosystems?

Bacteria play crucial roles in nutrient cycling, decomposition, and forming symbiotic relationships.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 03, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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