Four classes of Eukaryotic cells.

Eukaryotic cells come under four classes.  

Protistan cell Fungal cell Plant cell Animal cell

1. Size: Extremely variable size: smallest amoeba          Difflugia coronate is 150 micrometer in diameter, while the largest Protist, xenophyophore Syringammina fragilissima is 20cm in diameter. Generally small size; 2-10 micrometer in diameter. Larger size, larger than animal cell; 10-100 micrometer. Smaller than plant cell: 10-30 micrometer.

2. Shape : Can change shape. Can change shape only if shape of wall is changed. Cannot change shape. Can change shape.

3. Cell wall: May or may not be present. Present Present Absent.

4. Cell wall components: If present, cell wall is made up of cellulose (plant like Protista) or chitin like polymers (fungi like Protista).Made up of chitin.Made up of cellulose.

5. Cellular organization: Unicellular or multicellular (e.g. Kelp or seaweed). Can be unicellular (e.g. yeast); mostly multicellular (e.g. mushroom). Multicellular Multicellular

6. Cellular complexity: Absent Present Present Present

7. Plastid: Chloroplast present in photosynthetic Protista. Absent Present Absent

8. Location of nucleus: May have more than one nucleus, scattered in the cell. Can be centric uninucleate or multi-nucleate. Lies on one side of the cell, because major cell part is occupied by vacuole. Nucleus in the centre.

9. Lysosomes: Certain lysosome like particles have been found in slime molds; not exactly lysosomes. Absent. Rare. Always present.

10. Centriole: Absent Absent. Absent; exception: motile cells of lower plants. Present; play an important role in cell cycle.

11. Plasmodesmata: May or may not be present Present. Present Absent

12. Tight junctions and desmosomes: Absent. Present, but only in initial stages of fungal infection. Absent Present

13. Reserve food: Starch Glycogen. Generally starch. Glycogen always.

14. Glyoxysomes: Present Present May be present. Absent completely.

15. Synthesis of amino acids, coenzymes and vitamins: Can synthesize some simple amino acids; some species have to found to synthesize the vitamin, biotin. Can synthesize some vitamins and co-enzymes; can synthesize all amino acids. Can synthesize all amino acids, co-enzymes and vitamins. Cannot synthesize all amino acids, co-enzymes and vitamins.

16. Concept of living and dead cells: Only living cell functionalOnly living cells functional.Living as well as non-living cells have functions (e.g. tree bark provides protection, xylem in conduction of water).

17. Habitat: Any moist place on Earth including human body; mostly found in water. Found everywhere, air, soil, water. Also on plants, animals and human skin. Multicellular forms exist on land and water. Multicellular forms exist on land and water.

18. Physiological action: Generally burst in hypotonic solution. Does not burst in hypotonic solution, due to presence of cell wall. Do not burst in hypotonic solution. Burst if placed in hypertonic solution.

19. Movement: Single cells move via pseudopodia, cilia or flagella. Do not have active movement. May move by passive means, i.e. their spores may move by wind. No active movement of single plant cells. Whole body has proper movement. Individual cell can show only Brownian movement.

20. Biofilms: Can form biofilms in association with bacteria, for e.g. Acanthamoeba castellanii, an aquatic amoeba. Forms biofilms in combination with F. philomiragia (bacteria). Can form biofilms e.g. Aspergillus. No formation of biofilms. No formation.

21. Vacuole: Contractile vacuole present Generally, one large vacuole found. One large conspicuous vacuole present. Large number of small vacuoles may be present. Contractile vacuole may also be present.