Microbe Mission/Eukaryote

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A eukaryote (domain eukaryota) is a type of cell that has a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Examples of eukaryotes are algae, protozoa and fungi. Humans and plants are also part of the domain eukaryota. Eukaryotes are one of two main types of cells. The other type of cell is a prokaryote.

A diagram of a eukaryotic animal cell.
A diagram of a eukaryotic animal cell.

Parts of a Eukaryotic Cell

  • Cell Wall – commonly found in plant cells; protection and support
  • Plasma Membrane – control of substances coming in and out
  • Cilia - sweep materials across the cell surface
  • Flagellum - enables a cell to propel and move in different directions
  • Cytoplasm – between plasma membrane and nucleus; contains many organelles
  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) - the passageway for transport of materials within the cell; synthesis of lipids – modification of newly formed polypeptide chains
  • Ribosomes are the site of protein synthesis
  • Golgi apparatus - final modification of proteins and lipids; packing of materials for secretion out of the cell
  • Mitochondria - the site of aerobic cell respiration and ATP production
  • Hydrogenosomes - sites of anaerobic cell respiration in certain protozoa. (Trichomonas, etc.)
  • Lysosomes - contain enzymes to digest ingested material or damaged tissue
  • Chloroplasts – store chlorophyll; site of light reactions of photosynthesis
  • Vacuoles – storage; increase cell surface area
  • Centrioles - organize the spindle fibers during cell division
  • Cytoskeleton – cell shape, internal organization, cell movement, and locomotion